Bombay Sapphire set to be first major gin brand with 100% sustainably-sourced botanicals
After decades spent building sustainable partnerships with farmers and suppliers, Bombay Sapphire, the iconic premium gin from family-owned Bacardi Limited, has recently announced that all 10 of its botanical ingredients are on track to be certified sustainable in 2021. With the suppliers of eight already certified according to the For Life standard, the goal is for the remaining two producers – for grains of paradise from Ghana and liquorice from China – to be certified in the months which follow the lifting of travel restrictions.
This news is a major step towards Bacardi, the largest privately-held spirits company in the world, achieving its 2025 goal of sourcing 100% of its key ingredients from sustainably certified suppliers.
The 10 botanicals, which include juniper from Tuscany, coriander from Morocco, lemon peel from Spain and cubeb berries from Java, are hand selected by Bombay Sapphire Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti to create the gin’s fresh, bright taste.
Only the finest quality botanicals are selected by Tonutti and his work reportedly does not end there. The For Life certification awarded by Ecocert S.A, the world’s leading specialist in the certification of sustainable practices, recognises the commitment of Tonutti and Bacardi to only work with suppliers who act responsibly and ensure a sustainable future for farmers, their communities and the environment.
The Bombay Sapphire brand has long invested in new innovations offering creative solutions to complex challenges. When the Bombay Sapphire distillery opened in Laverstoke, England, in 2014, it set a new standard for sustainability by showcasing many such innovations – the distillery’s design was rated ‘outstanding’ by BREEAM, the most recognised environmental assessment for buildings.
“We take a 360-degree approach to sustainability,” says Ivano Tonutti. ”It’s our responsibility to care as much about the farmers and their communities as we do the botanicals they grow and harvest for Bombay Sapphire. By looking after their well-being and investing in sustainable farming practices, we are helping to protect the environment and their livelihoods for generations to come.”
An example of this in practice is the village in Ghana where, over a number of years, Bacardi has worked with AIESEC, a local non-governmental organisation, to help the community establish itself as an independent farming cooperative – from installing a water pump, which now supplies the village with fresh water, to recruiting an agronomist for expert advice and guidance. This year, the village will harvest its first crop of grains of paradise for Bombay Sapphire.
”For Life certification gives consumers peace of mind that ingredients are coming from organizations committed to continuous improvement,” says Ecocert CEO Philippe Thomazo. “For Life means that suppliers growing and harvesting the certified botanicals for Bombay Sapphire are acting responsibly in every respect.”
Natasha Curtin, VP Bombay Sapphire, says: “I am incredibly proud of this latest achievement by Ivano and his team but as an industry, we must all invest in a more sustainable future. Ivano has spent more than 20 years building close relationships with our farmers and suppliers around the world. With his experience and expertise, we have created a blueprint for the sustainable sourcing of botanicals, which we hope will inspire others to do the same.”
Bacardi worked closely with its suppliers to help them achieve For Life certification. To be certified, suppliers must commit to continuous improvement in the following areas:
- the well-being of the people involved in the harvesting and supply of the botanicals;
- the reduction of their environmental impact;
- their responsible purchasing practices;
- and sustainable development at a local level and key stages in the supply chain.
Find out more about the sustainability commitments of Bacardi and its vision to become the most environmentally responsible global spirits company at: www.bacardilimited.com/corporate-responsibility/environment.