You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Wednesday 1 July 2015

William Grant donates to keep Scots in UK

7th July, 2014 by Neal Baker

Scotch producer William Grant and Sons has donated what has been described as a “substantial sum” of money to the main campaign against Scottish independence.

William Grant

It is understood to have given in the region of £100,000 to Better Together, saying that the Scotch whisky industry currently enjoyed “substantial support” from the UK government and its worldwide embassy network.

However, it was this embassy network was recently criticised by the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) for charging Scottish trade organisations to promote whisky.

The Scottish government has also argued that independence would benefit the whisky industry, pointing to moves towards an EU exit by the United Kingdom and its potential threat to the spirits trade.

SNP's Angus Robertson MP criticised Scottish trade organisations being "double-charged"
SNP’s Angus Robertson MP criticised Scottish trade organisations being “double-charged”

William Grant, which produces brands including Glenfiddich malt whisky, had a turnover of more than £1 billion last year, and is one of the few Scotch whisky producers to remain in family ownership.

The BBC reports that the company is said to have also donated smaller sums of money to other groups who are campaigning for a “No” vote ahead of the independence referendum, which will be held on 18 September.

Industry trade body the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has not formally backed either side in the independence debate, with its chief executive David Frost saying in April that he was seeking reassurances about what he described as the potential “risks” of independence for the industry.

However, Mr Frost also said the industry would succeed regardless of the result, mirroring Diageo who previously said the company was “there [in Scotland] to stay” whatever the outcome of the referendum.

Scotch whisky producers have been encouraged by other trade bodies to support Scotland as part of the United Kingdom, with John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry pointing in May last year to the importance of integrated currency and common UK laws and regulations.

Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said that the decision on Scottish independence was "for the people of Scotland to make".
Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said that the decision on Scottish independence was “for the people of Scotland to make”

In a statement, William Grant and Sons said: “We can confirm that the company has made these donations.

“We support the stance of the SWA over independence and would refer you to their recent statement that the Scotch whisky industry enjoys substantial support from the UK government and its worldwide embassy network and from lack of trade barriers within the EU.”

A spokesman for Better Together said: “We are delighted to have received this support. More and more companies, individuals and families are saying no thanks to separation.”

Scotch whisky was responsible for more than £4bn of exports last year, which the SWA said accounted for about 85% of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

US Senate passes bill to boost spirits exports

The US senate has been applauded by members of the spirits trade for passing a more...

Top 10 architectural wonders of the wine world

You don't have to look far to find stunning examples of architectural prowess more...

Top 10 wine brands 2015

In a year that saw major shifts in the global wine market, the drinks business more...

PR Senior Account Manager/Director

London, United Kingdom

Depending on experience

WW1 Scotch to be auctioned

A bottle of Scotch whisky purportedly belonging to a soldier in the First World more...

Lidl hints at plans for online wine shop

UK supermarket Lidl has not ruled out launching an online wine shop, reporting more...

Prince Charles enjoys Scotch tour

HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, paid a visit to a number of Scotch whisky more...

UK Sales Manager

London, United Kingdom

How to become a 'wine expert' in four hours

A doctor of psychology has devised 10 simple steps which he claims can set you more...

Diageo appoints North America president

Deirdre Mahlan, Diageo's chief financial officer, has been announced as the more...

Japanese whisky shortage affects Nikka

Japan's Nikka Whisky will replace its entire range of single malts with more...

London Sales Manager / Key Account Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive - depending on skills and experience

Machine makes 'non-clinking' ice cubes

An Italian design company has joined forced with Chivas to launch a machine more...

Top 10 modern wine drinker stereotypes

From Rioja lovers to Champagne quaffers, the drinks business has more...

Diageo confirms Gleneagles sale to Shoreditch group

Diageo has confirmed the sale of its luxury hotel and golf resort in more...

Marketing and eCommerce Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive, includes equity options

Top 10 ways to reuse a wine bottle

If you are anything like the db team, it won't take long to amass a collection more...

SWA creates heavyweight London team

The Scotch Whisky Association has appointed a number of senior high-fliers from more...

The London Wine Fair in pictures

From red trews and foie gras macaroons to 2CVs, wine on tap and temporary more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Whisky has 'regained its attractiveness'

Scotch whisky is moving beyond its traditional consumer base and has "regained more...

New £25m Chivas distillery opened

Nicola Sturgeon hailed the "exceptional quality" of Scotch whisky as she opened more...

Top 10 worst estates for en primeur returns

Using Liv-ex's data, db rounds up the worst 10 châteaux for en primeur more...

Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom

Based on experience

Tequila leads luxury spirits boost

Luxury brands of Tequila backed by celebrities such as P Diddy and George more...

Diageo closes in on £200m Gleneagles deal

Drinks giant Diageo is reportedly “close” to agreeing a sale of its luxury more...