Landmark EU-China deal secures legal protection for Irish whiskey

The European Union’s agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan has secured a landmark deal that allows Irish whiskey producers to take legal action against fake products on sale in China.

The agreement, which was under negotiation for a number of years, was finalised on Tuesday 5 November at a meeting in Beijing, and signed on Wednesday morning by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.

The legislation will “ensure protection for Irish Whiskey – Ireland’s leading GI category – in China for the first time”, according to a statement from the Irish Whiskey Association.

William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association, said: “Irish whiskey sales in China have historically been low, but the category recorded 50% growth in 2018. Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity. This agreement protects and promotes authenticity and will grow sales.

“The protection provided in this agreement will further give Irish whiskey producers the confidence to invest in increased sales and marketing in China, knowing that there is legal remedy to crack down on fake competitors.”

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