The aim of this “unique new mentoring programme” is to ensure that new entrants to the category have access to the information and support they need to produce the high-quality Irish whiskey that global consumers expect.
The Irish Whiskey market is the fastest-growing spirits category in the world and has grown by an impressive 200% in the last decade. The new programme will see established industry leaders provide new entrants to the market with the necessary support and guidance to ensure the success not only of their new businesses but also the future and growth of the Irish Whiskey category. The programme kicked-off recently with a workshop hosted by the Irish Whiskey Association where industry experts from a number of companies shared their knowledge on issues such as production, health and safety, licensing requirements, branding and route to market.
The programme consists of three further stages and participants will be able to access a new one-stop shop online portal to help them plan their business. Stages 3 and 4 will focus on active mentoring where mentor companies such as Irish Distillers and Bushmills will be paired with new entrants. These stages will involve planning, design, construction and commissioning. The last stage will focus on production, highlighting the importance of ensuring that the high quality premium nature of the category is maintained.
The programme showcases the collegiality amongst the industry and members of the Irish Whiskey Association, according to the Head of the Irish Whiskey Association Miriam Mooney, speaking at the launch.
“The mentor companies will share information, expertise and knowledge with new entrants enabling them to plan and succeed in the Irish whiskey business whilst at the same time upholding the integrity of the brand”.
A participant in the new mentoring programme himself, Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and Chief Executive of Walsh Distillery Bernard Walsh explained, “The Irish Whiskey industry is at a pivotal moment in its history. We know that there’s huge consumer appetite for our products globally; we only have to look across the water to Scotland with 108 distilleries in operation to see what’s possible.
“This initiative today is very welcome and the mentor companies are to be applauded for investing their expertise in new projects to ensure high standards are maintained. For the industry to grow and compete internationally with Scotch and bourbon products we cannot compromise on quality. The advice and support of industry experts is invaluable in helping companies navigate what can be difficult and complex issues”.