Donegal to host annual whiskey industry convention 

 Industry leaders will address vital issues at the convention on 13 June at Sliabh Liag Distillers, Co Donegal

One topic to be discussed is the importance of geographical indication products such as Irish whiskey to EU promotion plans (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels)

Senior delegates from Drinks Ireland and the Irish Whiskey Association, will be discussing priority policies and issues of concern for the sector at the Association’s annual members’ convention, taking place on Thursday, 13 June, at Sliabh Liag Distillers, Ardara Distillery, in Co Donegal.

The agenda includes discussions on various topics, such as recommendations regarding the 7 June local and European elections. It will also discuss the significance of geographical indication products, such as Irish whiskey, in EU promotion plans, as well as explore Ireland’s potential to assume a leadership position within the EU. Additionally, there will be talks on securing trade agreements with key trading partners.

Drinks Ireland’s “Pride of Place” policy priorities 2025-2030 for growing the industry in the next five-year period, has set out recommendations for boosting rural communities and rural economies, including through direct and indirect employment. The policy also touches on the purchasing of materials and ingredients locally, including grain from farmers for whiskey production, improved broadband connectivity and support for distillery visitor centres.

Driving Irish whiskey exports (which exceeded €1 billion for the first time in 2022) was mentioned, as the Irish whiskey sector looks to continue growth in its 120+ export markets.

The policy recommends promoting responsible alcohol consumption through the implementation of evidence-based policies that reflect changes in Ireland’s drinking culture, such as the decrease by around 30% in alcohol consumption and trends that show how people are seeking more balance in how they drink.

Supporting the experience economy through the promotion of Irish whiskey distillery visitor centres as part of a new, bespoke food and drink tourism strategy, to bring visitor numbers back up to their pre-Covid peak of 1.02 million was also mentioned.

Lastly, a look ahead to Ireland’s next general election, including policy recommendations. 

For more information, visit: www.irishwhiskeyassociation.ie.

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