The annual meeting between the Irish Spirits Association and Scotch Whisky Association took place this week, bringing together representatives from both sectors to discuss their products, emerging market opportunities, and where the two industries can support each other going forward.
As has become tradition, the meeting took place on Monday, 21 March, shortly after the Irish and Scottish rugby teams went up against each other in the 6 Nations tournament.
The meeting was a chance to compare the two industries; while the Scotch sector is considerably larger and more established, Irish whiskey exports have become one of the biggest drivers in Irish drinks exports in recent years, reaching an estimated value of €410 million in 2015.
Employment in the Irish whiskey has reached approximately 5,000, but the Scotch industry employs around 40,000, and has 115 distilleries in operation, compared to Irish whiskey’s 15.
Overall, whisky is worth £5 billion to Scotland’s economy, and Irish whiskey is now worth €303 million to Ireland.
Miriam Mooney, Head of the Irish Spirits Association commented, "Despite the fact that the Irish whiskey industry remains relatively small in comparison to Scotch, the growth figures show the potential for the Irish whiskey industry if it continues to converge in relation to its main European competitor with the right support.
"The existing players have driven the global renaissance in Irish whiskey. Irish whiskey has carved out its own niche in the global spirits market, relying on the traditional craft of Irish distilling and authentic heritage, underpinned by high-quality whiskey with a distinctive taste and broad appeal. The industry will continue to work together to promote further growth."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.