NZ approves Scotch whisky GI

New Zealand has formally approved the Scotch Whisky Association’s request that Scotch whisky be given official Geographical Indication (GI) recognition.

Scotch is therefore the first foreign product to be recognised this way in New Zealand and now gives the country a legal definition of what Scotch whisky actually is – as it wasn’t covered under the NZ Food Standards Code.

Lindesay Low, legal deputy director of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Until recently a gap existed within the New Zealand Food Standards Code which made it comparatively difficult to prevent the sale of spirits being passed off as ‘Scotch’ in New Zealand.

“In working to close this loophole, the industry has enjoyed great support from the British High Commission in Wellington, as well as the Intellectual Property Office New Zealand.

“Our successful application to register ‘Scotch Whisky’ as a GI in New Zealand gives the industry a much greater level of legal protection and represents an important milestone for Scotch whisky as its popularity increases.”

Exports of Scotch malts to the antipodean country boomed 27% in 2017 to a value of £8 million.

More than 100 countries around the world have officially recognised Scotch whisky as being a uniquely Scottish product.

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