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Raising a glass for World Whisky Day

Scottish Secretary highlights the economic importance of whisky to the UK and how the UK Government is helping secure future growth.

The worldwide success of Scotch whisky was applauded today by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael ahead of tomorrow’s World Whisky Day.

Mr Carmichael pledged continuing UK Government support for the industry which is part of Scotland’s proud history, is worth over £4 billion to the Scottish economy, employs 10,000 people directly and supports over 35,000 jobs across the UK.

Among the ways in which the UK Government already supports the industry are:

  • Ending the alcohol duty escalator in the budget and freezing spirits duty
  • Opening up new markets for food and drink exports through the UK’s global network of embassies – last year alone it opened up 112 extra markets for food and drink exports
  • Protecting Scotch Whisky from counterfeits by registering it for Geographical Indication, which ensures that Scotch Whisky can only be produced in Scotland
Alistair Carmichael at Bowmore distillery
Alistair Carmichael recently visited Bowmore Distillery, one of Islay’s eight active distilleries.

Mr Carmichael said:

As someone who hails from Islay – which is home to no fewer than eight active distilleries – I am no stranger to the wonders of whisky.

Our whisky industry is a remarkable success story with an incredible £4.4 billion of Scotch exported last year, helping UK food and drink exports reach their highest ever level.

The UK Government is keen to support further growth of the industry, both at home and abroad. That’s why we’ve frozen the duty on spirits to support the domestic market and why we will continue to use our extensive international trade networks, embassies and diplomatic service to open up new markets and grow existing ones.

World Whisky Day is a great chance for us all to take a moment and raise a glass to celebrate the success of our national drink. Slàinte .

World Whisky Day is today (Saturday, May 17) and is a day of global whisky celebration taking place in 40 countries.

A few facts about Scotch Whisky:

  • Domestically produced whisky makes up nearly a quarter (23%) of the spirits drunk in the UK
  • Nine out of 10 bottles of whisky are exported
  • The industry is worth over £4 billion to the Scottish economy annually
  • Scotch whisky makes up nearly a quarter of UK food and drink exports

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