Irish Whiskey Industry Welcomes Signing Of EU-Japan Trade Agreement

The Irish Whiskey Association welcomes the signing today (Tuesday 17 July) in Tokyo of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the largest trade deal negotiated yet by the European Union.

Research shows that sales of Irish whiskey remain relatively low, Japan is currently the largest market in Asia for Irish whiskey and last year Irish whiskey sales in Japan recorded a 15.7% growth to just under half a million bottles.

“We see Japan as being a key growth market for Irish whiskey in future years,” William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association commented.

“We welcome the new EU-Japan agreement as it introduces protection for the Irish whiskey geographic indication (GI) in Japan for the first time. This means that only authentic Irish whiskey, produced on the island of Ireland in line with the approved technical file, can be sold bearing the name Irish whiskey.

“As Irish whiskey grows in popularity worldwide, we are regrettably, but unsurprisingly, seeing more counterfeit products on the market.”

Lavelle explained that the legal recognition of the GI in emerging markets such as Japan is vital to protecting the high standards that are the hallmark of Irish whiskey as well as protecting the investment made in Ireland by genuine producers.