The IWA’s assessment is based on Central Statistics Office/Eurostat data from Ireland and member data from Northern Ireland.
“Breaking one billion in export value represents another important milestone in the Irish whiskey renaissance and confirms the importance of our unique all-island industry to our shared economy, north and south,” stated IWA Director William Lavelle, commenting on the €1 billion-plus export value figure, “Across the island of Ireland, the growth in Irish whiskey exports has created more quality jobs, brought more investment into regional and rural communities and led to more purchasing from Irish farmers.”
The key drivers of Irish whiskey export growth identified in the IWA’s Irish Whiskey Global international trade report published last October include:
- the growing global demand for Premium, higher-priced Irish whiskey – in line with consumers drinking less, but drinking better
- rapid market diversification including across Africa and Asia
- the rise of e-commerce as major sales channels post-Covid
- increased interest in Irish whiskey from the Millennial and Generation Z consumer segments.
The IWA regards export value as representing a more accurate picture of the contribution to the all-island economy than global retail value.
Looking forward to 2023 he added, “The Irish Whiskey Association is reiterating its call for the proactive expansion of free trade agreements with positive trading partners, to support the continuing growth of Irish whiskey exports.”
According to William Lavelle priorities identified by the IWA for 2023 include:
- the protection of free trade with the United States and the avoidance of future trade disputes in the context of concerns regarding the US Inflation Reduction Act and unresolved disputes on steel and aluminium
- completion of EU trade negotiations with Australia and Kenya and of both EU and UK trade negotiation with India with a view to delivering tariff reductions in these markets
- progression of the proposed EU-Mercosur free trade agreement following the election of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brazil and efforts to agree additional commitments on deforestation and climate change.