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Yorkshire gin specialist Harrogate Distillery set to export spirits to China

North Yorkshire-based Harrogate Distillery, which produces WHITTAKER'S® gin, is to export its spirits to China after sealing a deal with a local distributor.

Jane and Toby Whittaker with Bill Goodwin of Ward Hadaway and Liam James of Lion Exports at Whittaker’s Gin, Dacre Banks.

Established by Toby and Jane Whittaker in 2015, Harrogate Distillery has a growing collection of small batch gins and spirits distilled in a Yorkshire-made still named Jezebel using natural spring water from Nidderdale.

The distillery produces gin which it sells under its own WHITTAKER’S® brand, as well as Cassis Gin for UK-based department store Fortnum and Mason, and a mulberry flavoured gin for the Harewood Estate. Plans were recently unveiled to expand with the construction of a whiskey distillery and visitor centre which it hopes will boost tourism and employment in the region.

The couple has now teamed up with distribution company Lion Exports in a bid to target the Chinese market, including Hong Kong and Macau.

Toby 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.”

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.

Bill, 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.

Bill 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.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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