A gin and spirits distillery in South Wales, which opened its doors to the public for the first time last month, has been recognised as a beacon of best practice by industry experts.
The accreditation – awarded to Hensol Castle Distillery by food and beverage organisation SALSA – is granted to suppliers who demonstrate exceptional standards in food and drink production. Aimed specifically at small and medium sized producers, the certification also offers producers a route in to major UK supply chains, such as supermarkets, to help grow their market share.
Hensol Castle Distillery is South Wales’s first full-scale gin and spirits distillery and contract bottling plant and is one of only 18 organisations in Wales to be currently accredited under SALSA’s beverage scheme.
Christopher Leeke, managing director of Hensol Castle Distillery, said:
“We are delighted to have gained this accreditation so quickly. It is just reward for the hard work and commitment our team has made to ensure we have the most robust procedures, checks and protocols in place”.
The distillery is now handling a growing order book since re-launching its Benjamin Hall gin and vodka range as well as its TRULO range of reduced calorie alcoholic drinks. Earlier this year, Swansea-based Cygnet Distillery moved production of its entire range of award-winning gins to Hensol Castle, along with master distiller, Dai Wakely, and his team.
In addition to the SALSA certification, the distillery has achieved the minimum requirement of a five-star food hygiene rating.
James Lewis, Leekes Group health and safety manager, said:
“Being SALSA approved is essential for us to accelerate our operations and be visible on the shelves of major retailers. For me personally, it’s been hugely rewarding to get the business to this important level, and this endorsement, together with the five-star food hygiene rating, have given a real impetus to our ongoing plans.”
The 400-year old Hensol Castle sits with the four-star Vale Resort within 650 acres of Welsh countryside and has already become a popular wedding and conference venue following a multi-million pound investment in 2015.