Drinks

New EU Rules Mean Better Protection For Irish Spirits, Says ISA

By Donna Ahern
New EU Rules Mean Better Protection For Irish Spirits, Says ISA

New EU wide rules regulating the definition, description, presentation and labelling of spirits will ensure better protection for Irish whiskey, Irish cream and Poitín into the future, said the Irish Spirits Association (ISA).

The European regulation implemented by the European Council will see an increase in the harmonisation of standards across the EU, as well as clearer and more consistent labelling requirements for Irish spirits, the group that represents the Irish spirits industry explained in a statement.

The new rules also preserve more traditional production methods and require information to be provided on the origin of ingredients, the group added, which is anticipated to clamp down on fake GI spirits.

“Ireland’s spirits industry is an important and growing indigenous sector, with products that stand out on the global stage as a result of their heritage, quality and authenticity," said Vincent McGovern, Head of the ISA.

"235 million bottles of Irish spirits were sold globally in 2018 with Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream liqueur being two of the top five EU spirits exports categories."

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Benefits Irish Producers

McGovern highlighted that with growth anticipated to continue, increased protection for our spirits industry is very important and these new EU rules really help.

"While benefitting Irish producers, the new rules will also be good for consumers, who will be better able to make informed choices, as there will be more uniform labelling requirements across the EU,” he added.

This new regulation has been published in the Official Journals today and thus enters into force.

Apart from certain provisions on GIs, which will apply two weeks from now, the ISA said that the bulk of the new rules will become applicable as of 25 May 2021.

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Momentous Achievement

Irish Whiskey’s status as a GI was officially approved by the European Commission last month.

Essentially, Irish Whiskey's GI will now be protected in a similar vein to Champagne, whereby the provenance of the spirit will have to be proven to ensure it authenticity.

At the time, Carleen Madigan, Legal Advisor to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) said: "This is momentous achievement for the Irish whiskey industry and ensures that the traditions and high standards of the Irish whiskey category will be protected in the EU and globally in markets with which the EU has a trade agreement."

© 2019 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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