Irish Whiskey Association reports significant global achievements in 2021

December 22, 2021

The Irish Whiskey Association has expanded international trade opportunities and protections for the Irish whiskey industry in 2021. That’s according to the representative body for the Irish whiskey industry, who today (22.12.2021) published their end of year snapshot.

The snapshot outlines results delivered by the Association in 2021 on foot of their global activity to protect and expand international trade opportunities for the Irish whiskey industry.

Positive global developments for Irish whiskey in 2021 included:

  • Inclusion of new rules-of-origin in UK-Australia FTA to protect cross-border Irish whiskey supply chains on the island of Ireland.
  • Ending of tariffs on Irish whiskey in US and Nigeria, and reduction in levies in Canada.
  • Over 90 per cent of Irish whiskey global sales are now subject to legal protection.
  • Investigations of over 55 infringements of the Irish Whiskey Geographical Indication.
  • The ending of US tariffs on Northern Irish single malts.
  • Substantial reductions to provincial levies in Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two largest provinces.
  • Elimination of 25 per cent Import Adjustment Tax in Nigeria which was Irish whiskey fastest-growing market in 2021.
  • Over 90 per cent of Irish whiskey global sales are now subject to legal protection.
  • Following a 4 per cent dip in global sales in 2020 (as a result primarily of the collapse on sales in travel retail), there has been a strong double-digit percentage rebound in 2021, setting a new all-time high for global Irish whiskey sales.
  • Latest figures from the CSO show that the value of Irish whiskey exports to India for the first 10 months of 2021 are up 106 per cent compared to the full 12 month of 2020.

In 2021, the Association conducted investigations in relation to over 55 infringements of the Irish whiskey geographic indication (GI) around the world.

Commenting today, William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said: “Our vision is to secure the position of Irish whiskey as one of the world’s leading spirit categories, built on a vibrant and sustainable industry. To deliver on this vision, we aspire for the Irish Whiskey Association to be the most effective and dynamic spirits category association in the world.

“In 2021, our association secured substantial achievements on international trade, protection, and regulatory matters, all of which benefit the entire Irish whiskey industry. With the active commitment and contribution of our many member companies, we look forward to achieving more in 2022.”

Other highlights from the Irish Whiskey Association’s 2021 snapshot include:

  • Preparation and submission of amendments to Irish whiskey product specification (technical file).
  • The introduction of a new label approval system to more effectively protect the Irish whiskey category and consumers, as proposed by the Association.
  • A new industry upskilling course to increase awareness amongst hospitality staff of the Irish whiskey category, with 118 participants in the first intake.
  • 13 webinars for members on markets insights, production and regulations.
  • The #DiscoverIrishWhiskey campaign, including international events for media in the US, Canada and New Zealand along with five livestream broadcasts.
  • An IrishWhiskey360° summer campaign and new videos to encourage domestic staycationers to discover Irish whiskey distilleries, with an 800 per cent increase in visitors to the IrishWhiskey360° website.

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