Irish Spirits Exports Grew To €1.32bn in 2017

By Dave Simpson
Irish Spirits Exports Grew To €1.32bn in 2017

The Irish Spirits Association has launched the second Irish spirits industry and market report, which paints a promising picture for the industry. The report was launched by chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and Marine Pat Deering.

Spirits are now one of Ireland’s leading agri-food export categories, with €1.32 billion in exports from the island of Ireland and a 13.8% increase in exports from the Irish Republic last year. Global sales of Ireland’s three geographical indications (GI) spirits - Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream and Poitín - totalled 17.2 million cases or 207 million bottles in 2017, and Irish Whiskey remains the fastest growing spirits category in the world. Irish cream liqueur is continuing its return to growth, with 5.6% growth last year. This confirms Irish Cream as one of the EU’s top spirits exports. The United States maintains its position as Ireland’s number one export destination for spirits, followed by the UK, Canada, Germany and France, respectively.

A Leading Agri-Food Export Category

Director of the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) Patricia Callan commented, “Irish spirits are now one of Ireland’s leading agri-food export categories and one of the fastest growing categories. Irish whiskey and cream liqueur is now being sold in 140 markets worldwide and our industry is proud of our contribution to the Irish economy, to Irish agriculture and to achieving the governments’ FoodWise 2025 exports targets.

“However, there are significant risks to Irish spirits exports on a number of fronts, including Brexit and the threat of tariffs in our key export markets, particularly the US. The Irish Spirits Association has actively lobbied for the de-escalation of the EU-US trade dispute and we welcome the commitment by Presidents Juncker & Trump to find a compromise.

“Another threat is the disproportionate and excessive provisions contained within the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. Ireland can’t have it both ways on trade. We cannot call for other countries to drop tariffs while we are bringing in our own trade barriers, such as single-country health warning labels. This move will act as a significant trade barrier to smaller spirits producers seeking to export to Ireland and diminish choice for Irish consumers.”

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