Plymouth Gin first secured protection in the late 1980s

Plymouth Gin first secured protection in the late 1980s

Pernod Ricard has dropped its support for geographical protection of Plymouth Gin after rule changes made it “reassess the relevance” to the brand, the company has said.

Pernod, which announced the decision yesterday, told just-drinks “certain conditions” now apply to brands looking to secure a Geographical Indication (GI) status. Plymouth Gin was originally listed as a Geographical Designation in the late 1980s by a European Council regulation, a status Pernod said it backed.

“At the time, we believed it to be a good form of protection of the brand,” a spokesperson for Pernod said.

However, the spokesperson added: “As time has passed, the status has changed from a designation to a GI and with this, certain conditions now apply to the brand being involved. These changes have provided the opportunity for Plymouth Gin to reassess the relevance of this status to the brand.”

Pernod said it will continue to make Plymouth Gin at the Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth.  

“We believe that the special characteristics of Plymouth Gin come from the fact that it is made in the Black Friars Distillery and made by our distillers with numerous years of expertise.”

On Twitter today, Pernod's Chivas unit said that because the definition of GI has changed “it’s not in the best interest of Plymouth Gin to retain it”.

GI is used with products that are deemed to correspond to a specific geographical location, such as Parma ham in Italy or Champagne in France. According to Pernod, gin made in Plymouth is the only English gin with protected Geographical Indication in the EU.

To read a just-drinks interview with the head of Pernod Ricard's gin brands, Beefeater and Plymouth, click here.