Irish and Scotch whiskey industry are set to meet today (8 February) ahead of tomorrow's rugby clash, which will see Ireland play Scotland in the second round of the 2019 Six Nations Championship.
'Brexit will be the major focus of discussion at a meeting in Edinburgh between the Irish whiskey and spirits industry and the Scotch industry, who meet annually ahead of the game,' according to a statement issued by the Irish Spirits Association.
The groups will reportedly discuss trade challenges to the Scotch whiskey industry when the UK leaves the EU.
“This year’s annual bilateral takes place with the shadow of Brexit looming large," said Aoife Clarke, Chair of the Irish Spirits Association.
"We will today be discussing the prospects for future Irish-UK trade and we will be particularly focussing on issue of global trade for UK whiskys post-Brexit."
While Irish whiskey is still behind Scotch when it comes to overall global sales, it is growing much faster.
Last year, Irish whiskey grew by over 10% in terms of global sales, compared with growth of 1.2% for Scotch, research shows.
Similar Trade Challenges
Irish whiskey distilleries in Northern Ireland to face similar trade challenges to the Scotch whiskey industry when the UK leaves the EU.
Clarke of Beam Suntory (owners of Cooley and Kilbeggan distilleries) said, "we will also discuss the similar challenges set to face Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey distilleries in Northern Ireland post-Brexit."
This year the Scotch Whisky Association, led by Chief Executive Karen Betts, will host a nine-strong visiting Irish delegation including representative from Irish distilleries and from the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), which includes both the Irish Spirits Association and Irish Whiskey Association.
“While there is serious business to be discussed, we will also be proudly wearing the green and we wish all the best to the Irish rugby teams who will be competing in Scotland over the weekend.” Clarke concluded.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.