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North West gin maker meets Chinese buyer at major trade show 

Manchester’s Tarsier Gin has brought a taste of the North West to new international buyers at Asia’s leading food and hospitality exhibition, HOFEX, in Hong Kong.

HOFEX attracts more than 42,000 visitors and 2,800 exhibitors annually. Tarsier Gin showcased its range of traditionally made gins at a dedicated Food is GREAT Gin Bar.

The Food is GREAT campaign is a cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT). The campaign aims to showcase UK food and drink overseas, and to help businesses export.

Tarsier Gin was created in 2018 after co-founder, Tim Driver, was inspired by the flavours he discovered during a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia four years ago. He spent the next three years developing the gin’s recipe with his business partner at his kitchen table before producing the brand’s website and labelling bottles.

Several other Northern Powerhouse gin brands were also introduced to China’s growing cohort of UK gin lovers this month. Slingsby Gin and Noveltea were just some of the gins showcased at the SIAL trade show in Shanghai, which took place the week after HOFEX. At the event, John Edwards, British Consul-General of Shanghai, gave key industry attendees a tour of the UK Pavilion to allow them to get a taste of British gins. The tours were also streamed live on WeChat to 9,000,000 consumers across China,  the country’s most popular messaging and lifestyle app.

Paul Stowers, Head of Region, North West at DIT, said: “The gin industry in the UK is booming. In 2018 alone, exports of UK gin hit a record £614m, up 15% on the previous year.

“Supporting businesses from the North West during trade shows like HOFEX provides companies with the opportunity to meet people face-to-face and start to build relationships. Tarsier Gin is a great example of a firm from the region doing just this by showcasing what it has to offer on an international platform and meeting potential buyers.

“North West businesses looking to start exporting or enter new markets should get in touch with us today to find out how we can support them on similar trade missions. We have a team of International Trade Advisers across the region ready to support each stage of the exporting journey. From labelling on products to the logistics of trading with new markets, we’re here to help businesses make the most of the exporting opportunities available.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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