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Australia agrees to protect Irish whiskey

Irish whiskey has been granted legal protection in Australia for the first time after the category was registered as a certification mark.

The IWA has successfully registered ‘Irish whiskey’ as a certification mark in Australia

According to trade body the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA), the registration will give the industry a greater ability to combat fakes.

“The registration of Irish whiskey as a certification mark in Australia is a major achievement in our efforts to protect the integrity of Irish whiskey in Australia as a significant export market,” said Carleen Madigan, legal advisor for the IWA.

“This registration means Irish whiskey for the first time is protected and defined in Australian law, which will greatly enhance our ability to take action against rogue traders. This will ensure Irish whiskey maximises its potential and maintains its growth trajectory.”

Australia is a top 10 export market for Irish whiskey and is growing rapidly. In 2017, 1.9 million bottles were sold in Australia, and in the first 10 months of 2018, volume exports grew 35%.

Last year, the IWA launched a major drive to combat the sale of counterfeit Irish whiskey around the world, tripling its legal budget for 2019.

Irish whiskey gained greater legal protection in Asia following the signing of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement last summer.

The Irish whiskey industry is targeting global sales of 12m cases by 2020, which the IWA said it is on track to exceed. The category’s largest export in 2017 was the US, followed by Ireland and Russia.

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