The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has successfully registered Irish whiskey as a certification mark in South Africa, which now ensures the authenticity of the product.
These registrations are a milestone for the category, as they ensure much tougher enforcement action can be taken against fake Irish whiskey products, the group that represents the industry said on a statement.
“The registration of Irish whiskey as a certification mark in South Africa is another major achievement in our efforts to protect the integrity of Irish Whiskey worldwide," Carleen Madigan, legal advisor of the IWA said.
"Legal protection in such an important market forms the solid foundation on which the industry’s success is built. This will ensure Irish whiskey maximises its potential and maintains its growth trajectory."
Strong Export Market
This registration provides legal protection for Irish whiskey in South Africa for the first time and follows a successful trademark registration for Irish whiskey in Australia in February this year.
South Africa is the seventh major export market for Irish whiskey and the largest export market in Africa.
“This year, the Irish whiskey industry has trebled its investment in the protection work of the IWA," Madigan added.
"This has enabled us to significantly expand our remit in securing the recognition and protection for Irish whiskey in important export markets, like South Africa and Australia."
In 2017, 369,000 cases, or 4.43 million bottles of Irish whiskey were reportedly sold in South Africa - an increase of 4.5% on the previous year.
Irish whiskey is now recognised and protected in 46 countries globally, with many more applications pending, the group said.
The EU has also 'greatly helped to extend recognition for Irish whiskey' by seeking protection for EU Geographical Indications in free trade agreements with third countries.
“Irish whiskey has recently become protected in Japan and Canada as a result of EU agreements," she explained.
Madigan highlighted that the category will soon obtain GI protection in Argentina, Brazil and Vietnam as a result of further recently concluded deals.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.