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Drinks

Irish Whiskey Association Calls For Changes To Governance Rules

The Irish Whiskey Association, which represents companies comprising 98% of Irish whiskey sales, has called for changes to rules governing how the spirit is classified.

The proposed changes to the Irish Whiskey Geographic Indication (GI) status will 'offer greater clarity and flexibility to distilleries', the group said.

'Rich Heritage And Traditions'

The amendments also aim to ensure that Irish whiskey remains 'consistent with the industry’s rich heritage and traditions', and that the sustainable processes being developed by distilleries are also recognised.

The proposals have been submitted to the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as well as the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as the relevant authorities responsible for the all-island Irish Whiskey Geographic Indication.

The GI status for Irish whiskey ensure that only products produced and labelled in accordance with the Irish Whiskey Product Specification can be marketed and sold as Irish whiskey.

'Driving The Global Revival'

“Irish Whiskey’s status as a protected geographic indication has played a key role in driving the global revival of Irish Whiskey sales over recent years," commented Noel Sweeney, master distiller and blender at Powerscourt Distillery.

"Our GI is built on a strong set of rules, consistent with Irish Whiskey’s heritage and traditions. These proposed changes seek to provide greater clarity, efficiency and flexibility to Irish Whiskey production processes in line with those heritage and traditions, while also promoting a more sustainable industry.”

Among the proposals is an expansion of the definition of 'Pot Still Irish Whiskey' to allow up to 30% of other cereals, namely, oats, wheat or rye, be permitted. In addition, proposals also relate to the removal of the 30% maximum malted barley requirement from the 'Grain Irish Whiskey' definition.

Recently, Irish whiskey representatives welcomed reductions in Canadian spirits levies, with which it hopes to grow sales in the country. A recent easing of tariffs between the US and EU has also been welcomed.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Drinks news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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