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Desmond Payne MBE appointed new Grand Rectifier of The Gin Guild

The Gin Guild has announced Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne MBE as its new Grand Rectifier, succeeding Lesley Gracie, master distiller of Hendrick’s Gin. He will take up the role on 20 October 2023 for two years.

The announcement came at last week’s Ginposium, the annual event held by The gin Guild which featured a variety of talks, predominantly focusing on the theme of sustainability.

Payne said on his new appointment: “The Gin Guild has been instrumental in guiding and protecting this splendid and rapidly expanding spirit, and it has also given us all the opportunity to get to know each other and enjoy the fruits of our labours. To be nominated Grand Rectifier is a great honour and I am looking forward to taking up the position later this year.”

A particular highlight of the event involved a Q&A between Payne and Guild Chair Christopher Hayman, where the former shared insights from his incredible 55 years in the industry.

Other speakers of note included Sandrine Ricard, who discussed the sustainability efforts of Pernod Ricard in the UK, and analyst Chris Pitcher from Redburn, who returned to discuss the key statistics concerning gin sales worldwide.

The event’s focus on sustainability gave opportunities for those in attendance to reassess their own efforts in this field, in particular the continuous pushing of the envelope in regards to packaging and labelling.

The Gin Guild’s director general Pal Gleed commented on the event: “Clearly sustainability is at the forefront of many members’ thinking and the coming year will see a focus for The Gin Guild to work with members to develop and demonstrate their approaches even further. The gin industry is extremely vibrant and fast moving and it is exciting to see members turn their dynamism to this globally important subject.

“We also announced plans to lead a project to help establish a model ‘gincentric’ sustainability strategy for members, taking in both the latest thoughts from the global sustainability movement, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and benefitting from expertise within The Gin Guild membership internationally.”

Earlier this year, the Gin Guild marked its 10th annual gin industry dinner. To mark the occasion, the organisation will undertake research among its membership to shape the strategy over the next ten years.

12 June 2023 - Bradley Weir