The snapshot outlines the results delivered by the IWA in 2021 on foot of its global activity in protecting and expanding international trade opportunities for the Irish whiskey industry.
Positive global developments for Irish whiskey in 2021 included:
- the inclusion of new rules-of-origin in the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement to protect cross-border Irish whiskey supply chains on the island of Ireland
- the ending of tariffs on Irish whiskey in the US and Nigeria and a reduction in Canadian levies involving substantial reductions to provincial levies in Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two largest provinces
- the ending of US tariffs on Single Malts from Northern Ireland
- the elimination of a 25% Import Adjustment Tax in Nigeria, Irish whiskey’s fastest-growing market in 2021.
Over 90% of Irish whiskey’s global sales are now subject to legal protection and in 2021 the Association conducted investigations in relation to over 55 infringements of the Irish whiskey Geographic Indication around the world.
Following a 4% dip in global sales in 2020 (as a result primarily of the collapse of Global Travel Retail), there’s been a strong double-digit percentage rebound in 2021, setting a new all-time high for global Irish whiskey sales, claims the IWA.
Latest Central Statistics Office figures show that the value of Irish whiskey exports to India for the first 10 months of 2021 were up 106% compared to the full 12 months of 2020.
“Our vision is to secure the position of Irish whiskey as one of the world’s leading spirit categories, built on a vibrant and sustainable industry,” commented IWA Head William Lavelle, “To deliver on this vision, we aspire for the IWA to be the most effective and dynamic spirits category association in the world.”
Other highlights from the Irish Whiskey Association’s 2021 review include:
- a new industry upskilling course to increase awareness amongst hospitality staff of the Irish whiskey category, with 118 participants in the first intake
- 13 webinars for members on market insights, production and regulations
- the #DiscoverIrishWhiskey campaign, including international events for media in the US, Canada and New Zealand along with five livestream broadcasts
- an IrishWhiskey360° Summer campaign and new videos to encourage domestic staycationers to discover Irish whiskey distilleries, with an 800% increase in visitors to the IrishWhiskey360° website.
- the introduction of a new label-approval system to more effectively protect the Irish whiskey category and consumers as proposed by the Association
- the preparation and submission of amendments to Irish whiskey product specification (technical file).
The Irish Whiskey Association assesses that global sales of Irish whiskey will likely have broken the 13 million case barrier in 2021 for the first time ever.