Spirits are now one of Ireland’s leading agri-food export categories, with €1.32 billion in exports from the island of Ireland and a 13.8% increase in exports from the Irish Republic last year.
This is according to the Irish Spirits Association (ISA), which launched the second Irish spirits industry and market report.
Global sales of Ireland’s three geographical indications (GI) spirits, Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream, and Poitín, totaled 17.2 million cases or 207 million bottles in 2017.
This means that Irish Whiskey is still the fastest growing spirits category in the world. It also indicates that Irish Cream is one of the EU’s top spirits exports.
Not Without Risks
“Irish whiskey and cream liqueur is now being sold in 140 markets worldwide and our industry is proud of our contribution to the Irish economy, to Irish agriculture and to achieving the Governments’ FoodWise 2025 exports targets,” Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) said.
“However, there are significant risks to Irish spirits exports on a number of fronts, including Brexit and the threat of tariffs in our key export markets, particularly the US.”
The Irish Spirits Association, Callan continued, has actively lobbied for the de-escalation of the EU-US trade dispute and we welcome the commitment by Presidents Juncker and Trump to find a compromise.
She also highlighted domestic threats to the industry, citing the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill’s “disproportionate and excessive provisions”.
“Ireland can’t have it both ways on trade,” she said. “We cannot call for other countries to drop tariffs while we are bringing in our own trade barriers, such as single-country health warning labels. This move will act as a significant trade barrier to smaller spirits producers seeking to export to Ireland and diminish choice for Irish consumers.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.