The impact of Covid-19 on the Irish whiskey sector
What are your thoughts and opinions
It’s not always rosy in the Irish whiskey sector and obviously this is not an easy topic to cover and we do not wish to exploit it or be insensitive. What we care most about are peoples lives and health and safety. However, the impact on our industry and our nation are very real. Who would have thought only two months ago that the biggest threat would come not from Brexit, or from US Trade Wars, but from a virus thousands of miles away? The reality is the impact shall be severe.
What can and has the industry done to protect the public. The industry has been swift to close their visitor centres, for some distilleries one of their primary revenue streams. Hopefully, this will lead to protection for both staff and visitors. We also foresee where possible that many staff are supported and encouraged to work from home. For brand ambassadors, pub visits and events have been curtailed or eliminated altogether.
The industry has also suffered from a vast amount of cancellations of foreign visitors coming to our island. The pub, hotel, off-licenses, stores and restaurant trades will be the first to feel the brunt of this. Small businesses and families will feel the effects most. Trade shows abroad have been cancelled or postponed, again impacting on the opportunity to showcase our wonderful produce. For some companies, months of planning and high expense is not going to bear fruit.
The industry has united and shown responsibility and we hope to see them survive and flourish. We are sensitive to the impact this has had and will have but we’re confident they will come out fighting. We also hope the government and public will be there to support them.