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08.2014

Massachusetts Beverage Business

AtPressTime

DON’T MESS WITH THE SWA

If you’re in the business of dealing with black market Scotch and you get caught, you can expect the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) to come after you with all they’ve got. The SWA has called for further sanctions on producers and distributors of imitation Scotch in China. Now a top 2O market for the category with exports estimated to be worth around £1OO million, the Scotch Whisky Association has said there should be “more co-operation and stronger criminal sanctions.” The SWA suggests the need for a firmer definition of whisky in China “in line with European Union standards”, which it said would “prevent unfair competition from inferior spirits being sold as ‘whisky’.” The statements came during SWA representatives’ visit to Asia to further promote Scotch whisky and strengthen trade links. Gavin Hewitt, SWA chief executive, said: “We have a very good working relationship with the Chinese authorities who demonstrate their commitment to protecting the reputation of Scotch whisky. However, there is always more work to be done.” Young, affluent Chinese consumers are increasingly developing a taste for the spirit which they recognize as a quality, international product. Scotch whisky was registered as a geographical indication (GI) of origin in China in 2O1O. Despite calls to clamp down on fakes, the SWA also noted Chinese authorities’ “respect for international trade rule” and that there had been a great deal of cooperation in “enforcing rules and regulations around protection.”

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