Irish Whiskey’s status as a Geographical Indication (GI) has been officially approved by the European Commission.
Essentially, Irish Whiskey's GI will now be protected in a similar vein to Champagne, whereby the provenance of the spirit will have to be proven to ensure it authenticity.
“This week’s announcement by the European Commission marks the approval of the Irish Whiskey technical file," Carleen Madigan, Legal Advisor to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) said.
"This is momentous achievement for the Irish whiskey industry and ensures that the traditions and high standards of the Irish whiskey category will be protected in the EU and globally in markets with which the EU has a trade agreement."
'Fake' Irish Whiskey
In October 2018, the IWA announced its intentions to launch a major worldwide drive against ‘fake’ Irish whiskeys.
Members of the the representative body for the Irish Whiskey Industry agreed at the time to treble the association’s legal budget for 2019, ensuring sufficient resources to fight against products that infringe on the laws governing the labelling and sale of Irish whiskey.
"As sales of Irish whiskey continue to boom globally, we have seen a trebling in the complaints to the Association regarding fake Irish whiskey around the world," Madigan explained.
"The Geographic Indication provides the strongest possible protection against these infringements and gives us the basis for enforcement action against misleading products.”
This week’s announcement also confirms GI protection for Irish Cream (Liqueur) and Irish Poitín.
“This week’s announcement was likewise of great significance to both Irish Cream and Irish Poitín as their Technical Files were also approved, Vincent McGovern, head of the Irish Spirits Association said.
"Both categories will benefit from the strong protection and higher profile a European Geographic Indication provides at home, across the Internal Market and in export markets worldwide.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.