Irish Whiskey

Friday, 29 May 2015

IRISH SPIRITS ASSOCIATION AND IRISH WHISKEY ASSOCIATION WELCOME NEW REGULATIONS TO ENFORCE GI STATUS

· Irish Whiskey, Irish Poitín and Irish Cream were previously protected by “Geographical Indications”

· New regulations has been put in place to strengthen enforcement powers


The Irish Spirits Association and Irish Whiskey Association have welcomed the new regulations that strengthen enforcement powers to ensure that Irish Whiskey, Irish Poitín and Irish Cream are manufactured in Ireland in accordance with the approved technical specifications

While these spirits were previously protected by “Geographical Indications” under European Law, meaning they must be produced on the island of Ireland in accordance with strict technical specifications notified to European Commission, the new regulation ensures that the legal protection afforded by these Geographical Indications is applied in Ireland and internationally.

Miriam Mooney, Head of the Irish Spirits Association and Irish Whiskey Association said:

“We welcome these new regulations that protect the integrity of number of our key Irish spirits. Irish Whiskey, Irish Poitín and Irish Cream are protected “Geographical Indications” under European Law. This means that they must be produced on the island of Ireland in accordance with strict technical specifications notified to European Commission. For the last number of years, the Irish Spirits Association has worked with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to ensure the ongoing protection of these premium products.


“The intellectual property rights afforded by the Geographic Indication status is only as strong as the enforcement which is applied. We are continuing to develop a comprehensive policing strategy to address GI infringements. This will include coordination between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as the enforcing body and the industry through both the Irish Spirits Association and Irish Whiskey Association. Using its international distribution network, industry is well-placed to identify potential infringements. Our Associations are now resourced to monitor global markets which will act as an early-warning alert. The Irish Whiskey Association also has a dedicated legal resource who will work with the industry and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”


“The Irish Whiskey Association recently launched ‘A Vision for Irish Whiskey’ strategy document, outlining 5 key pillars that will underpin sustainable growth in the sector. One key pillar identified by the industry was ‘category integrity and promotion’.


“The protection of our products is of crucial importance to our industry and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the legal protection afforded by these Geographical Indications is applied in Ireland and internationally.”


ENDS/