Irish Distillers’ communications and corporate affairs director Rosemary Garth is to become the new head of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), following an official meeting of the group this week.
Garth assumes the role from outgoing chairperson Maggie Timoney of Heinken Ireland, who is relocating to the US to take up a new role as chief executive officer, Heineken USA.
Commenting on her new position, Garth said, “I look forward to taking up this position at such an important and exciting time for the industry. The drinks and hospitality sector continues to contribute significantly to Ireland. The industry is among the largest employers in the country and much of this employment is based in rural towns and villages.
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“The recent DIGI report ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Drinks Industry’ clearly demonstrates how the industry is supporting balanced regional development through a network of rural drinks businesses across the country. We need to ensure the sector and these jobs are protected and further development in the industry is encouraged.
“Central to this is delivering policy measures which are favourable and which support growth. Through our Support Your Local campaign, DIGI is seeking a reduction in Ireland’s high excise tax rate.
“Ireland currently has the second highest overall excise tax in the EU, behind only Finland. We have the highest excise tax on wine, the second highest on beer, and the third highest on spirits. This is an anti-competitive tax on an industry that is creating new businesses, that is innovating and adding and maintaining jobs in the rural economy.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.