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Irish Whiskey Industry Welcomes Signing Of EU-Japan Trade Agreement

By Donna Ahern
Irish Whiskey Industry Welcomes Signing Of EU-Japan Trade Agreement

The Irish Whiskey Association welcomes the signing today (Tuesday 17 July) in Tokyo of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the largest trade deal negotiated yet by the European Union.

Research shows that sales of Irish whiskey remain relatively low, Japan is currently the largest market in Asia for Irish whiskey and last year Irish whiskey sales in Japan recorded a 15.7% growth to just under half a million bottles.

Popular Brands

This growth has reportedly been led by the success in Japan of Jameson while brands such as Tullamore D.E.W, Bushmills and Teelings are also popular on the market.

“We see Japan as being a key growth market for Irish whiskey in future years," William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association commented.

“We welcome the new EU-Japan agreement as it introduces protection for the Irish whiskey geographic indication (GI) in Japan for the first time. This means that only authentic Irish whiskey, produced on the island of Ireland in line with the approved technical file, can be sold bearing the name Irish whiskey.

“As Irish whiskey grows in popularity worldwide, we are regrettably, but unsurprisingly, seeing more counterfeit products on the market."

Lavelle explained that the legal recognition of the GI in emerging markets such as Japan is vital to protecting the high standards that are the hallmark of Irish whiskey as well as protecting the investment made in Ireland by genuine producers.

Lambay Irish Whiskey

In a statement, the IWA outlined that Japan is now being targeted by a number of new Irish whiskey brands, including Lambay Irish Whiskey.

“Historically, Asian markets have not been among the traditional or more important markets for Irish whiskey. However, Lambay Irish Whiskey Company strongly believes that this region represents a great opportunity for the premium and super premium segments of the Irish whiskey category, in particular, the malt segment," Jean-David Coster, managing director of the Lambay Irish Whiskey Company said.

“We feel that the Irish whiskey category still has not fully tapped into the opportunities which Japan and the Asia region offer. More and more discerning consumers in Asia are looking for genuine and premium or super-premium products, that are exclusive and created in small batches, combined with a sense of history and tradition.”

© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition. 

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