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Gin Bothy owner calls for protection of Scottish gin

The owner of Scottish spirits producer Gin Bothy has called for Scottish gin to be given similar protections as Scotch whisky.
Kim Cameron, Gin Bothy owner, is using her role in the Scottish Rural Leadership Programme to meet with key politicians to advocate for the prevention of imitation of Scottish gin. Along with whisky, gin is a leading food and drink export from Scotland. 
Scotch whisky has protected status under UK and EU Geographical Indication (GI) laws, which guarantees its characteristics and origin and protects it from imitation. Cameron is seeking this status for Scottish gin as well: “There are so many talented gin producers in Scotland but it’s crucial that our work isn’t diluted by brands that are using the Scottish name to enhance their marketing,” she said.
Gin Bothy has been selected to be included in the “Everybody Wins” goodie bags handed out to 2024’s Oscar nominees. Cameron is arguing that protection for Scottish gin will strengthen industry trade.
She continued: “At the Gin Bothy, for instance, we pride ourselves on our fruit being hand-picked in Scotland. Our original gin that will be handed out to the top 25 Oscar nominees is made from Scottish heather, Scots pine and rosemary. It’s a real taste of Scotland in a bottle and that’s how it should be.
“The danger, with the lack of protection that is currently in place for Scottish gin, is that anyone can stick a label on their gin and claim to be Scottish. A lot of producers or companies would see the benefit of trading off the back of the popularity of Scotland as a brand.”
Steps toward identifying and isolating traits of gins have been taken recently by researchers at Heriot-Watt, who say their ‘gin fingerprinting’ technology could help futureproof gin and identify fraudulent products.

15 February 2024 - Lucy Schofield