The Irish Whiskey industry welcomes historic EU-China agreement on protection of geographical indications. Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association has welcomed the new EU-China agreement on protection of geographical indications (GI). The agreement, which was under negotiation for a number of years, was finalised today at a meeting in Beijing and will be signed Wednesday (5.30 am Irish time) by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. The agreement will ensure protection for Irish Whiskey – Ireland’s leading GI category – in China for the first time.
From now on only Irish whiskey distilled and matured on the island of Ireland can be labelled and sold in China as Irish whiskey. It also provides a legal recourse to take action against fake Irish whiskey on sale in China. William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association in Drinks Ireland stated:
“Irish whiskey sales in China have historically been low, but the category recorded 50% growth in 2018. Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity. This agreement protects and promotes authenticity and will grow sales. “The protection provided in this agreement will further give Irish whiskey producers the confidence to invest in increased sales and marketing in China, knowing that there is a legal remedy to crack down on fake competitors.”