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Deal opens doors for independent distillers

Small and independent world whisky producers have been given a major boost with the launch of an initiative that will allow them to sell even a single bottle of whisky directly to UK consumer and trade customers, and to supply it quickly and at a fair price.

The new initiative allows whisky makers from across the world to sell whisky directly to UK customers, and provides the framework to ensure that the whisky reaches its destination quickly and at a fair price, and without the distiller incurring large costs.

The project has been launched by Glasgow-based Bondeau, a storage, logistics and distribution company, in association with freelance whisky writer Dominic Roskrow, who specialises in world whisky.

Under the deal Bondeau will provide an alternative route to the UK market through a unique business platform which combines the latest e-commerce technology with a large network including extensive bonded warehouse space and full transport and distribution facilities.

Bondeau is not a retailer or conventional distributor, and the deal ensures that the lion's share of the income generated from sales goes back to the distiller, and he keeps control, and ownership of his stock.

Roskrow's role will be to liaise with his the distilleries, to approach them about becoming part of the initiative and to provide features, interviews and tastings for the website. His online magazine World Whisky Review will be linked to the new initiative and there will be links between it and how other relevant projects such as The Craft Distillers Alliance, The Wizards of Whisky World Whisky Awards, and the Whisky Tasting Club, an online business offering sets of whisky miniatures, and which will offer 'taster' packs.

Under the scheme distillers will be invited to send stock to be kept under bond in Scotland, where they will retain ownership of it. But each distiller's sales website will be linked to Bondeau, and when out recognises a UK sale, the information will be passed back to Scotland where the whisky is sent out through the company's distribution network.

Duty is automatically calculated and paid directly to customs and excise, and after Bondeau's fee is deducted the rest of the money goes to the distiller.

Commenting on the deal, Bondeau's Liam Hughes said: "This is a very exciting development for all concerned. We are looking forward to working with a range of world distilllers and their fabulous whiskies."

Dominic Roskrow said: "I am delighted to be associated with this initiative because it is a logical extension of what I have been doing for the last seven years and will accelerate the already growing interest in whisky from different parts of the world."

The new enterprise will also be offering a marketing, public relations and events service for organising tastings, launches and other events, which will be offered on an event by event basis or for a small monthly fee.

The new venture is ready to go, and as soon as distillers sign up they will be featured on the new business website.

5 February 2013 - Felicity Murray