Irish whiskey exports up 220% since 2003

Ambitious aims for future of Irish whiskey industry revealed in new strategy document



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12 May 2015

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Minister Simon Coveney launched the Irish Whiskey Association’s “Vision for Irish Whiskey” at an event on Tuesday, 12 May, in the Old Jameson Distillery, Smithfield.

There are currently 26 new or proposed distilleries across Ireland and annual exports of Irish whiskey are now valued at over €300m, up 220% since 2003.

The Irish whiskey strategy document is based on a comprehensive survey of the sector and outlines the sector’s ambitions, including an aim to grow global market share by 300% by 2030, from 4% to 12%. The whiskey sector is also aiming to grow exports from 6.5m 9-litre cases to 12m 9-litre cases by 2020 and to double exports again to 24m 9-litre cases by 2030.

The sector also wants to grow whiskey tourism from 600,000 visitors to 800,000 in the medium term, and increase employment by 30%, from 5,000 direct and indirect jobs to 6,500 by 2025. The industry also aims to invest over €1bn between 2010 and 2025 and increase production by 41% over the same period.

The report outlines ‘five key pillars’ that will support sustainable growth, including having an adequately resourced infrastructure and an all-island approach to tourism, including the Irish whiskey trail.

Minister Coveney said: “Growth of almost 200% over a decade reflects an industry with ambition, a sense of mission and a deep understanding of individual markets. Irish whiskey brands now represent the fastest growing spirit globally.”

Bernard Walsh, founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery and chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association said: “If we look at our neighbours in Scotland, we see the world-leading Scotch industry exporting over 90 million 9-litre cases annually. There are over 130 Scottish distilleries that bring investment and employment into rural areas. There is no reason why Ireland cannot achieve similar success.”



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