Irish whiskey exports worth €256m in H1 2017By Annie Hayes
Ireland’s drink exports were valued at €527 million (US$629m) for the first six months of the year, with whiskey making up more than half of that figure, according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).
The data, published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ireland’s total drinks exports have grown by 8.65% since June 2016, bolstered by “spectacular revival” of Irish spirits.
Total Irish spirits exports grew by 16% year-on-year, while Irish whiskey exports increased by 18.5% in the period.
The ABFI, which represents for drinks manufacturers and suppliers across Ireland, said the figures affirm the “massive contribution” the industry makes to Ireland’s agri-food economy.
“The latest CSO figures illustrate the strength of Ireland’s drinks exports,” said Patricia Callan, director of ABFI. “The drinks industry has committed itself to achieve the targets set out in Food Wise 2025 to increase the value of agri-food exports by 85% to €19 billion.”
The body reiterated its warnings against the implementation of the Public Health Alcohol Bill, which was developed to tackle alcohol misuse and covers the introduction of minimum unit pricing, compulsory nutritional labelling and health warnings on bottles.
“Meeting the Government’s Food Wise 2025 targets would see the drinks industry increasing exports by at least €700 million. Given the huge potential the industry has for further export led-growth, it is concerning that the Government is planning to introduce the most restrictive and punitive barriers to this growth, in the form of the Public Health Alcohol Bill.
“The restrictions in the Bill on advertising and labelling will severely constrain the ability of small producers and new entrants, like craft distilleries and breweries, to get a foothold in the Irish market and will damage their export prospects generally.
“We want to work with the Government and other stakeholders to find workable measures that will strike the balance between achieving public health objectives and supporting a thriving Irish industry.”