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Greater protection for Scotch Whisky industry

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: The Government has launched its long-awaited consultation on regulations surrounding the Scotch Whisky industry

The initiative was announced by Jeff Rooker, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and has already received support from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Launched on December 31 2007 and set to run until March 25 2008, the consultation aims to implement new regulatory legislation by June this year.

Strengthened definitions of Scotch Whisky and taking action against counterfeiting and passing-off of goods are both on the agenda.

The consultation will also look to define five separate categories of Scotch Whisky; Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Blended Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Blended Grain Scotch Whisky.

Rooker, the minister for sustainable food and farming, said: "This consultation gives us the opportunity to ensure that the legislation we lay before Westminster Parliament provides the best protection to a product that has built up an international reputation for the highest quality whisky in the world."

Gavin Hewitt, SWA chief executive, echoed these sentiments saying a new legal framework would protect the industry from "unfair practices globally".

He added: "SWA members will be delighted the industry's international significance and important contribution to the economy have been recognised with new standalone Scotch Whisky Regulations."

Click here to access Harpers' exclusive article from the SWA on what the new year holds for the Scotch Whisky industry.