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Hereford-based family distillery Secures china deal

08 February 2016

A family-run Midlands distillery is in high spirits after securing a lucrative deal to export its products to China.

Drinkers with a taste for the premium vodkas and gins produced by Chase Distillery in Hereford – Britain’s only single distillery estate – will soon be able to find the products in bars across Beijing and Shanghai after impressing buyers with its distinctive flavours.

As China gears up to celebrate the Year of the Monkey on February 8, the company, which grows its own potatoes and apples at Rosemaund Farm, will be shipping 2,500 cases of its vodkas and gins a year to China over the next two years after working with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) West Midlands to secure the deal.

The award-winning company has been exporting to 36 countries since 2010, but wanted to expand to China, which imported EU spirits worth €338m in 20141.

Simon Davies, export director of Chase Distillery, said with UKTI’s help, it took part in a trade mission to China in 2015, which enabled it to secure distribution for its first major order to China.

It has now appointed a distributer and is preparing to ship 500 cases this March.

Simon said:
“We’re extremely pleased to have had the help and support of UKTI as we’ve gone through the process of attracting Chinese buyers and distributors to our vodkas and gins.

“It’s been a five-year process, which we expected because we knew it would take time to make in roads, but we have long been confident that our premium products were right for the Chinese market.

“Working with UKTI has certainly eased the process as we’ve worked to access this new territory and we are thrilled that our first cases are about to be shipped.”

Sally Stevenson, UKTI international trade adviser in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, who worked with Chase Distillery, said:

“Chase Distillery is a perfect example of how a business with a unique product in the market place can attract the more challenging markets, such as China.

“By understanding the market conditions, being sensitive to cultural and business etiquette, and working strategically, it has secured a very good export deal.”

China-Britain Business Council and UKTI are holding events across the West Midlands next month. The ‘Are you ready for China?’ series will be held in Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country, and will include the lessons from a local business that is successfully exporting, plus CBBC and UKTI specialist advisers to help companies start looking seriously at this major export market.

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