A DORSET vodka is truly getting into the Canadian spirit as a new trade agreement means the near-total removal of import duties.
Black Cow Vodka will be taking advantage of the reduction of tariffs on exports to Canada as the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) comes into effect today.
International trade secretary Liam Fox has praised CETA, which his fellow Leave-backing Cabinet ministers are said to favour as a model for Britain’s relationship with Europe after Brexit.
The new trade agreement will see 98 per cent of import duties scrapped, giving Beaminster-based Black Cow Vodka, and other UK firms, access to a valuable market of more than 35 million people.
With the immediate removal of tariffs for wine and spirit products, Black Cow Vodka has already been embarking on a successful trade mission to Canada.
Marketing Director Kate Harrison said: “It was always as aspiration of ours to grow our international market, but exporting to Canada is an accolade we’re particularly proud of.
“The potential for exporting to and expanding into Canada is absolutely huge. The Canadians have a wonderful appetite for super premium brands.
“They are our halo market- a cosmopolitan audience with an appetite for great liquids and great stories.”
The west Dorset liquor is the world’s first pure milk vodka produced from the milk of grass grazed cows.
Farmer and vodka enthusiast Jason Barber discovered the drink when he was looking for ways to diversify the produce from his 25-strong dairy herd.
Black Cow is now working with a brand agency in Canada, with experience in building innovative and unique spirits brands, to continue to drive its growth.
With support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), the spirit even featured at the British High Commissioner’s Queen’s birthday party in Ottawa.
Mr Fox, said: “CETA opens the door for UK companies to trade easily and cheaply with a valuable market in which there is considerable demand for British products, skills and expertise.
“As an international economic department, we will help UK companies to make the most of this boost to bilateral trade and lay solid foundations for our trading ties with Canada.”
There is a large demand in Canada for British food and drink products, with high quality alcohols and spirits particularly popular.
Annual alcohol sales in Canada total CAD $36.8bn, with more than three billion litres consumed each year.
Alongside tariff reduction, CETA also removes the blending requirements for spirits meaning it will be much easier for British producers to get their products on Canadian shelves.