Irish Whiskey Association backs EU-Japan trade agreement

Irish whiskey will have protected status in Japan for the first time, if a new trade agreement is ratified
Irish whiskey will have protected status in Japan for the first time, if a new trade agreement is ratified

Believe it or not, the world is still turning out there amid all the Brexit chaos, and the EU is continuing to sculpt and develop its relationships with other parts of the world. A new trade agreement between Japan and the EU is due to be voted on this week, and the Irish Whiskey Association has backed the Bill.

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11 December 2018 | 0

The Irish Whiskey Association has called on members of the European Parliament to ratify the EU-Japan free trade agreement, knows as the Economic Partnership Agreement, when the matter comes before the Parliament for a vote this Wednesday 12 December.

The Economic Partnership Agreement, signed on 17 July 2018, represents the largest bilateral trade deal ever done by the EU and will enter into force in February 2019, once the European Parliament and EU Council formally ratifies it.

The Economic Partnership Agreement will introduce protection of the Irish whiskey geographic indication in Japan for the first time. This will mean that only whiskey produced on the island of Ireland, in accordance with the approved Technical File, can be labelled and marketed as “Irish whiskey” in Japan.

Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, William Lavelle said that, historically speaking, sales of Irish whiskey in Asia and the far east have been low. “However,” he said, “Japan represents the largest market for Irish whiskey in Asia and is among one of the Asian markets identified by the Irish Whiskey Association as offering significant future growth potential.

“Already,” Lavelle said, “sales of Irish whiskey grew by 15.6% in Japan. Protecting the name of Irish whiskey – and the high standards which are the hallmark of Irish whiskey – is critical to support future export growth.”

Lavelle said that because of the EU-Japan agreement’s protection of Irish whiskey in Japan, the IWA is urging MEPs to ratify the deal.

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