South Australian spirits lifted through export boost

04 Aug 2023
South Australia’s spirit distillers are getting a South Australian Government funding boost to help export their world-class products internationally. 

Distillers South Australia will use the $50,000 grant to develop an export strategy for the State’s distillers to enter new markets, build on existing partnerships and create jobs. 

The peak body will also use the funds to establish an international trade event, expected to be held next year, to highlight the State’s top-shelf offerings and demonstrate why South Australia is renowned for its premium gin, whisky, vodka, rum and brandy. 

The local sector dominated the 2022 Tasting Australia Awards and Royal Australian Spirits Awards while receiving commendation and awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where South Australia’s spirit industry is pitted against the very best of the world’s spirits. 

There are more than 100 distillers across South Australia, with many producers based regionally. 

ABS data shows the South Australian spirit industry had an export value of $26.6 million in the year ending May 2023, representing about 12 per cent of Australia’s spirit exports.

The local sector is tipped to grow to 2,300 direct jobs by 2031 – in roles like production, sales and marketing, and tourism – up from an estimated 600 people in 2022. 

Total domestic and international South Australian spirit sales are also forecast to increase to between $120 million and $180 million by 2031, according to Distillers South Australia.

The peak body will work with State Government and the wider sector before releasing the final export strategy, which will determine the location of the upcoming global trade event. Local producers attending will co-fund their participation at the event. 

Spirit manufacturing in Australia generated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2022, with strong growth recorded in the Asia-Pacific region over the last five years.