Much of the international success of the Irish spirits industry is the result of the quality and strong reputation of the products and international brands, which Irish producers have developed, along with the strict rules on spirit definitions and geographical indications (GIs), guaranteed by EU legislation.
The ISA played a leading role in successful efforts to introduce GIs for Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream Liqueur and Irish Poitin/Poteen. The ISA is committed to ensuring that the legal status and integrity of the GI protection for these three categories is maintained.
Supporting and promoting Irish spirit categories
The ISA facilitates a number of working groups aimed at supporting the ongoing development of category-specific sectors and the promotion of those categories, including Irish Cream Liqueur, Irish Poitin/Poteen and Irish Gin.
Accessing export markets
The way forward for the Irish spirit sector is through the development of international markets. Extending the reach of exports and attaining higher levels of penetration in high value markets will remain a key challenge for the sector.
Therefore, negotiations on current Free Trade Agreements must dismantle any barriers to trade for our sector. The promotion of our products abroad is crucial to developing market share in emerging markets. The ISA continues to work with the Government and its agencies to ensure support is provided to the Irish spirits sector to ensure we can take advantage of the potential opportunities and growth within these markets.
Working at EU level
The ISA is working closely with spirits Europe in relation to a number of issues at EU level, most significantly the proposed changes to the EU Spirits Regulation, which defines 47 categories of spirit drinks and which governs EU rules on GI's and labelling.