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Monday, February 24, 2020

Aberdeenshire gin producer toasts export success

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AN ABERDEENSHIRE gin producer has started exporting to key Asian markets thanks to strategic advice and support from Business Gateway.

In 2019, Raven Spirits signed an export agreement to send consignments of its two award-winning gins to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

Peter Sim, director of Raven Spirits, said: “Typical gin producers in Scotland tend to target the local market which, especially in the case of Aberdeenshire, is very saturated. Therefore, we made a concerted effort to target export markets in order to grow the business.”

Export figures released by HMRC in August 2019 showed that gin exports from the UK were worth £730 million, while domestic sales soared at £2.3 billion, putting the total value of the industry at just over £3bn.

Business Gateway’s bespoke action plan had a substantial impact on Raven Spirits’ ambitions to export, giving the gin maker access to Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and one-to-one sessions with a business adviser.

In particular, Business Gateway supported a successful application for funding from Scottish Enterprise.

Peter Sim continued: “The business grant received from Scottish Enterprise, with the help of Business Gateway, allowed us to thoroughly research our chosen markets, visit them and finally seal our first export agreement.”

Bill Hogarty, business adviser with Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, commented: “In order to meet its goal of exporting to international markets, Raven Spirits has taken advantage of the full breadth of specialist support Business Gateway can offer.

“Through regular one-to-one advice sessions, I was able to help Peter complete applications, resolve any issues and arrange meetings with key advisers from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International.”

Peter Sim said: “The impact of Business Gateway’s support has been immense, it helped us to achieve our goal of exporting years earlier than if we had done it alone.

“After engaging with the team for two years, we have gained knowledge, had access to targeted help and received reassurance that our products will be successful in new international markets.

“The power of confidence for a new business cannot be underestimated, so Business Gateway was a real catalyst in moving our dream forward at a faster pace.”

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