Drinks producers from across Ireland have today welcomed amendments submitted by a cross-party group of TDs to the Alcohol Bill.
"The amendments, if passed, will remove the requirement for cancer warnings to be added to alcohol products and will ensure distillery and brewery visitor centres are exempt from the strict advertising restrictions that are set to be introduced," the group said in a statement.
“I’m strongly in favour of these amendments as they will help protect rural jobs, the reputation of Ireland’s food and drinks industry and the economy as a whole," said Pat Rigney the managing director and founder of The Shed Distillery in Co. Leitrim, which produces the world-renowned Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.
Rigney added that it is vital that the proposed amendments are passed in full to protect our rural and national food and drinks economy.
Quality Over Quantity
"The craft beer industry is creating an environment where customers are more interested in moderate consumption, and quality is finally becoming far more important than quantity. 22% of beer produced by Irish microbreweries in 2016 was exported to international markets," Seamus O’Hara, the CEO of the Carlow Brewing Company said.
"The continued growth of the sector is reliant on exports. Creating labels for individual markets would be unsustainable for breweries of our size."
"The health and well-being of our customers is paramount and we strongly feel it is the combined responsibility of breweries, publicans, off-licences, retailers and government to promote the positive message of moderation and balance."
“These amendments are vital as we need the freedom to be able to innovate and introduce new products to the home market, without the threat of reputationally damaging cancer warning labels being added to our products," Michael Scully, the founder and CEO of Clonakilty Distillery in Co. Cork said.
"Earlier this year, we launched our new Minke Gin to the market, which would have been hugely challenging if the Alcohol Bill was in place as it stands."
Impact on Tourism
“We are growing our business around the world and our distillery and visitor centre are very important elements of that drive. The new bill would not allow us to direct tourists to our visitor centre," John Quinn, Global Brand Ambassador of Offaly’s Tullamore DEW said.
"The amendments would ensure that the tourists to Offaly will be directed to the home of the whiskey they enjoy in their home country. This tourist attraction is a very important contributor to the economy of the town and county of Offaly.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.