An independent gin distillery in Huddersfield has become only the second gin brand in Yorkshire to be awarded a prestigious food and drink safety certification recognised by major retailers including The Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Divine Gin, based in Holmfirth, has achieved SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) certification; a robust food and drink safety scheme designed to help regional food and drink producers supply their products to national buyers.

The distillery, which produces award-winning gins, was founded by husband and wife team Ray and Rachel Woolhead in 2014.

Ray explained: “In order to achieve SALSA certification we had to demonstrate that we operate to standards that are recognised and accepted across the industry and that exceed the minimum standards expected by enforcement authorities.

“Producing a top-quality product is at the heart of everything we do at Divine Gin and achieving SALSA approval gives leading and specialist buyers, and the general public, confidence that we are committed to producing superior gins and to continuously meeting the requirements of the SALSA standard.”

SALSA Approval is recognised by a growing list of more than 850 registered UK buyers, including The Co-op, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrison’s.

Bonnie Joplin, scheme development manager at SALSA said: “Small food businesses are often at the forefront of food trends, innovation and quality. By choosing SALSA Approved suppliers, buyers can be confident that our members not only make great products, but that food safety management is paramount. Congratulations Divine Gin we’re proud to have you on board.”

Ray added: “Gaining this certification is a major step towards achieving our ambitious growth plans. We are aiming to triple production to 700 bottles a week over the next 18 months. We also hope to supply Divine Gin to some of the major retailers and achieving SALSA Approval will help us to do that.”

Divine Gin’s growing number of current stockists include high-end farm shops Keelham’s and Blacker Hall plus The Wright Wine and Whisky Company in Skipton, Czerwick in Brighouse and the Gin Lane Shop at The Piece Hall in Halifax.

Customers also include some of Yorkshire’s best-known restaurants such as Eric’s and Punch Tapas in Huddersfield.

Major industry names are also approaching Divine Gin for help. Ray and Rachel recently worked with Cartwright & Butler to create a recipe for the company’s tea-infused gin. Cartwright and Butler currently export to 43 countries across the globe, meaning from its home in West Yorkshire, Divine Gin’s influence is now truly world-wide.