In a major legal breakthrough, Scotch Whisky has been registered as a certification trade mark in Taiwan, giving consumers and the industry better protection against fakes.
Taiwan is the fourth biggest market for Scotch by value with exports worth £75 million in the first six months of the year. Consumers are knowledgeable about Scotch and willing to try out new brands. It is the third biggest overseas market for Single Malt with exports worth £41m in the first half 2016.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which applied for the trade mark, says the existence of the UK Customs’ Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme, which was introduced in 2014, was an important factor in meeting the requirements necessary to secure protection. The scheme ensures every part of the Scotch Whisky supply chain is mapped by the industry, registered with the UK Government and inspected to check it complies with all the rules on the production of Scotch. The SWA said the scheme gave the authorities in Taiwan even greater confidence in the robust procedures around Scotch.
The trade mark recognises that Scotch must be made in Scotland from water, cereals and yeast and matured for at least three years. It is of great commercial value to the Scotch Whisky industry and gives consumers confidence in the quality and provenance of what they are buying. A second trade mark has been awarded in Taiwan to protect the Chinese characters that spell out ‘Scotch Whisky’.
The SWA says that while it already works well with the authorities in Taiwan, which is an ordered and well-regulated market, the trade marks make it more straightforward to take legal action against anyone trying to produce or sell fake Scotch in the future.
Lindesay Low, Scotch Whisky Association senior legal counsel, said: “Taiwan has for many years been a major market for Scotch Whisky, in particular Single Malts. The trade marks for Scotch Whisky mean that consumers can have even greater confidence in the quality of what they are buying. It will also give a further boost to Scotch Whisky producers exporting to Taiwan.
“We would like to thank the authorities in Taiwan who were of great assistance in working with us on the successful outcome of our trade mark application, as were the UK Government.”
27 September 2016
Scotch Whisky in Chinese characters: 蘇格蘭威士忌
With media queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, Scotch Whisky Association head of communications, 0131 131 222 9230 or 07432 605385, email email@example.com or David Williamson, SWA public affairs and communications director, 0131 222 9226 or 07432 605385
SWA’s Annual Review, May 2014
The people of Scotland face a historic choice in September’s independence referendum. The implications are huge and the basis for the eventual decision needs to be fully discussed. So I make no apology for dealing with it at length.
This industry is in a special position in this debate. We can make Scotch Whisky only in Scotland and our brands are indissolubly linked with it. 35,000 jobs depend on the industry. Our operations are at the heart of many communities around Scotland and we sustain economic activity in rural and remote areas that might otherwise have difficulty in attracting it.
That success is not the result of chance. It has come about because of a wide range of factors which have been well provided for us within the United Kingdom and would need to be similarly provided in the future if it were to be within an independent Scotland.
At the UK level, we are fortunate to have – on the whole – certainty in our domestic business environment. Monetary and fiscal policy is predictably managed. We benefit from the fact that our domestic market is the sixth biggest economy in the world, large enough to support broad and balanced growth and provide a pool of relevant skills. In contrast, as of now, the nature of an independent Scotland’s currency remains unclear, and self-evidently this could affect our exports, management of supply chains, pricing, and competitiveness. The taxation regime also remains to be developed, and any regulatory divergence between Scotland and the rest of the UK may increase costs to business. In all these areas, we need further information and reassurance before we can assess whether we can mitigate these potential risks.
At the EU level, the legal framework provided by EU membership is fundamental. The ‘Scotch Whisky’ geographical indication is protected in EU law. We are able to export tariff-free across the single market, use EU mechanisms to eliminate market access problems, and benefit from the EU’s clout in trade negotiations. Of course, not everything in the EU is perfect and, in my view, many areas need reform. But even a temporary interruption of EU membership involving exclusion from the single market or the customs union, if this were a consequence of independence, would be damaging and difficult to manage.
Internationally, as an export-oriented sector, we rely on effective support from government in our overseas markets, whether in influencing EU negotiations or pressing other governments to allow fairer market access. Both the UK and Scottish Governments have been supportive of us and there will be risks if this support is not maintained. The Scottish Government White Paper envisages a network of 70 to 90 overseas missions, but we export to around 200 markets. A diplomatic network with the necessary geographic footprint, expertise, and influence to provide commercial and political support globally will continue to be essential.
In short, as we consider the potential impact of constitutional change, we look for reassurance on how an independent Scotland could deliver a business, regulatory, and export environment at least as supportive as that which the industry currently enjoys.
Whatever the result on 18 September, we are committed to working with government in the future to deliver sustainable economic growth – either helping to shape the policy regime for an independent Scotland or engaging in the debate about further devolution. That is what the people of Scotland would expect and it is what I am determined to deliver.”
David Frost, SWA Chief Executive
11 Sep 2014
Scotch Whisky: ‘From Grain to Glass’ to open at Mitchell Library – Friday 31 May – Wednesday 31 July 2013
An exhibition exploring the rich heritage of Scotland’s national drink will be on display in the main hall of Glasgow’s Mitchell Library from the end of May.
The Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition was created to mark the Centenary of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the industry trade body, in 2012.
The exhibition’s only previous outing was its display at The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh for two months at the end of last year. When it comes to Glasgow, new exhibits will be added to be seen by the public for the first time.
The exhibition brings together an array of images and artefacts from several Scotch Whisky producers and enthusiasts. Many items on display have been stored in archives and personal collections until their inclusion in this exhibition. The display also tracks landmark events in the last 100 years which have shaped the SWA and the industry.
Scotch Whisky’s rich past is showcased, highlighting its position as an iconic Scottish product and demonstrating how vital Scotch Whisky is to the country’s economy and society. Scotch Whisky exports are worth around £4.3 billion a year and the industry directly employs more than 10,000 across Scotland, many in and around Glasgow.
Visitors will learn everything from how Scotch Whisky is made to how it is marketed and exported. The exhibition explains, through images and words, how the “What is Whisky?” debate of the early 20th century led to a Royal Commission report which helped establish the modern day Scotch Whisky industry.
Visitors will also find out why a full size model of a white horse and a papier mâché giraffe are on display at a Scotch Whisky exhibition.
Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “We are delighted to bring the exhibition of images and artefacts from across the Scotch Whisky industry to Glasgow for the first time. The spectacular main hall of the Mitchell Library, an historic building which has been part of life for Glaswegians for over a century, is a perfect setting for this display.
“For more than 100 years we have been committed to promoting and protecting Scotch Whisky. We hope as many people as possible will visit the Scotch Whisky: From Grain to Glass exhibition to find out more about the heritage of Scotland’s national drink.
“Visitors will find out exactly how Scotch Whisky is made and how marketing has changed through the decades. Everyone, from Scotch Whisky aficionados to novices will learn something new from the exhibition.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Whisky is an essential part of our shared heritage so we are very much looking forward to welcoming the definitive story of our national drink and one of our most recognised international exports to the Mitchell Library.
“The exhibition will also feature items from Glasgow’s own collection alongside images and objects brought together by the Scotch Whisky Association for what is a unique insight into this global industry.”
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