Nidderdale distillery signs deal to export gin to China

Harrogate Distillery, which produces Whittaker’s Gin, is to export its spirits to China after sealing a deal with a local distributor.

Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 5:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 5:32 pm
Jane and Toby Whittaker (left) of Nidderdale-based Whittakers Gin celebrate signing the export deal. (S)

The Nidderdale-based distillery produces gin which it sells under its own Whittaker’s brand, as well as Cassis Gin for Fortnum and Mason, and a mulberry-flavoured gin for the Harewood Estate.

Founders Toby and Jane Whittaker have now teamed up with distribution company Lion Exports in a bid to target the Chinese market, including Hong Kong and Macau.

Mr Whittaker, said: “We’re delighted to agree this distribution deal with Lion Exports, supported by excellent legal advice from Bill Goodwin and the team at Ward Hadaway.

“We have ambitious plans to grow our overseas market and believe that Lion Exports has the expertise and connections to help boost our sales and increase profits.”

The couple recently unveiled plans for a whiskey distillery and visitor centre which they hope will boost employment in the dale.

Liam James of Lion Exports said: “We believe that the Whittaker’s brand and products are ideally placed to do extremely well in the Chinese market. We are confident that our connections in the region, combined with our knowledge of the drinks sector, means that we are the right partner to represent them in this exciting opportunity.”

Legal work for the distribution deal between Harrogate Distillery and Lion Exports was completed by commercial partner Bill Goodwin supported by solicitor Rebecca Whisker of Leeds-based UK Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway.

Mr Goodwin, who is both a commercial solicitor and chartered trade mark attorney, has also recently secured the UK trademark for Whittaker’s and is handling applications to protect the brand in numerous other countries globally, including China.

He said: “We have been working with Harrogate Distillery from the start, providing them with brand protection advice and now legal advice in relation to their export activities.

“The food and drink sector in Yorkshire is strong and one in which Ward Hadaway are very active, and so it is always pleasing to see a local drinks business like Harrogate Distillery do so well.

“We look forward to working with them going forward and being part of their exciting journey as they explore new markets overseas. We wish them all the very best.”