Industry Committee – Chairman Lorne Mackillop

The Industry Committee’s primary objective is to build the Worshipful Company of Distillers’ presence at the hub of today’s Spirits Industry.

Lorne Mackillop

Lorne Mackillop

The Industry Committee is charged with developing and enriching the relationship between the Livery and the spirits industry, both on an individual and corporate basis. The Industry Committee reports directly into the Master & Wardens’ Committee and is made up of members of the spirits Industry taken from the Livery and from the Court.

The responsibilities of the Industry Committee

To deliver this, the responsibilities of the Industry Committee include:

  • Building close working relationships with those who work within the Spirits Industry (Building relationships).
  • Encouraging members of the Spirits Industry to join the Worshipful Company of Distillers (Convivial opportunities).
  • Supporting the creation of educational and training programmes that assist in developing the skills and capability requirements of the Spirits Industry (Educational underpinning).
  • Working with the Industry to provide unique category promotion where required (Category support).
  • Providing a calendar of relevant and engaging events that support the furtherance of the aims and ambitions of the Spirits Industry (Entertaining and informative Events Calendar).

The workings of the Industry Committee

Building relationships

The Industry Committee pursues an ongoing programme of engagement with a broad network of potential members of the Worshipful Company of Distillers from within the Spirits Industry. This helps recruitment, and builds relevance for the livery as well as being a source of expertise. The Industry Committee manages a Corporate Membership programme to supplement their recruitment activities. Leading companies with an interest in developing the Spirits Industry are invited to become Industry Associates of the Livery Company and propose senior Executives to become Corporate Freemen. The presence of this new intake of senior industry professionals enriches the life of the Livery and brings strong links with the industry that will strengthen its position and its ability to develop valuable resources that will enhance its role and unity. The Industry Committee has also led with the development of relationships with key members of the City, Legal and Financial Community, where they have relations or interests with the Spirits Industry. In addition to the constant pursuit of new members, the Industry Committee are also charged with building links with the key Spirits Industry trade Associations and in conjunction with the Scottish Committee to work with the Keepers of the Quaich, the Scotch Whisky Association, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association and the Portman Group, amongst others.

Convivial opportunities

The Mansion House banquet, the dinners and lunches that make up the backbone of the Livery’s calendar of events is promoted by the Industry Committee as one of the few opportunities for networking within the Spirits Industry. Almost 80% of the Livery’s membership is made up of those from the Industry or from affiliated industries.

Category support

Where required, the Industry Committee have been charged with instigating development of initiatives to support the categories of the Spirits Industry. The Gin Guild is the most recent of these initiatives. Launched by the Worshipful Company of Distillers in 2012, this was set up by members of the Livery involved in the Gin Industry as a body for Gin distillers and industry leaders involved in the production, promotion and distribution of distilled Gin.
The Guild provides welcome support at the Annual Mansion House Livery Banquet See more information under the Gin Guild tab.

Entertaining and informative events calendar

The Industry Committee oversees a further calendar of special events, mostly annual that support and further the aims and ambitions of the Spirits Industry. Each Spring there is a Worshipful Company of Distillers City Debate, where thought provoking issues of the day are discussed and debated by members of the Spirits Industry. These have included debates on China, Gin, Rum and Innovation in Scotch Whisky. The Industry Committee also runs a Landmark tasting each year with the International Wine & Spirits Competition. The annual winners of their Gold Medals are presented to the world for the first time along with a variety of master classes.

Details of these events can be found in the relevant sections of this web site.


This year’s debate is about innovation versus acquisitions and which route is the best for business growth. Read more about the speakers, the motion and the evening’s details through this link.

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