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IWA Announce Worldwide Drive Against 'Fake' Irish Whiskey

By Publications Checkout
IWA Announce Worldwide Drive Against 'Fake' Irish Whiskey

The Irish Whiskey Association(IWA), the representative body for the Irish Whiskey Industry, has announced that it will launch a major worldwide drive against ‘fake’ Irish whiskeys.

Members of the IWA have agreed 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.


“Irish whiskey is booming. Every week this year, sales of Irish whiskey increased by nearly a quarter of a million bottles compared with the week before. We are proud of this growth and we are very proud of the great whiskey we make in Ireland,” Head of the IWA, William Lavelle, said to the Irish Pubs Global Conference 2018 in Galway.

“However, as global sales of Irish whiskey continue to sky-rocket, it’s not surprising that fraudsters want to get in on our success. But it doesn’t mean we’ll let them. Whether it’s a Russian spirit with brown colouring or a US-made whiskey being labelled as ‘Irish-style’; it’s not authentic Irish whiskey.”

The IWA said that it and its head legal advisor Carleen Madigan will be increasing its response to such infringements, as it has done since 2014, but will work to ramp-up its action in 2019.


“To date, we have successfully resolved a number of reported infringement matters through working directly with the brand owners agreeing to take the necessary corrective action,” Lavelle continued.

“We are also actively pursuing a number of infringing brands in Russia, as well as a number of mislabelling issues with products on sale in the EU.”

He has called on Irish pubs across the globe to check their Irish Whiskey supplies to ensure they are GI-compliant (Geographical Indication), and to report any suspected ‘fake’ whiskeys.

Labelling & Marketing

The IWA and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have also recently agreed to a new set of Guidelines on the labelling and marketing of Irish whiskey.

“These new guidelines will mean that consumers can be assured that the information appearing on an Irish whiskey label is accurate and not misleading, and it will provide a clear and agreed benchmark against which complaints of misleading labelling can be assessed and enforced against,” Lavelle added.


“We want to make sure consumers know what they’re drinking and we want to ensure the good name of Irish whiskey and the high standards which have become a hallmark of the category continue to be protected and enforced around the world.”

© 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. 

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