Government backs Scotch whisky industry as decline slows

By Alice Foster contact

- Last updated on GMT

The decline in exports appears to be slowing, according to the Scotch Whisky Association
The decline in exports appears to be slowing, according to the Scotch Whisky Association

Related tags: Scotch whisky industry, Whisky, Scotch whisky

Scotch whisky industry representatives and government officials have pledged to boost economic growth, as the industry shows signs of recovery.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) met UK government departments to discuss ways to support the sector and encourage overseas trade on Friday (November 6). 

Undersecretary of state for Scotland Lord Andrew Dunlop said he looked forward to working closely with the SWA to ensure the continued success of the industry. 

‘Innovative, prosperous’​ 

“The UK government’s job is to make sure Scotland is as innovative, prosperous and as successful as it can be,” ​Dunlop said. 

“We are helping a wide range of sectors in Scotland in different ways, from creating platforms for export to protecting geographical indication for Scottish products and preventing the passing off of inferior products in markets around the world.” 

The SWA said the decline in Scotch whisky exports appeared to be slowing, with £1.7bn of exports in the first six months of the year. 

The value of exports dropped 3% on the same period in last year, compared with a 11% fall between the first half of 2014 and 2013. 

‘Very constructive’​ 

SWA chief executive David Frost welcomed the signs of recovery and said the association had a “very constructive” ​meeting with Dunlop and other government officials last week. 

“We already receive excellent support for the industry from government, but it was a chance to discuss what more can be done, for example, in the areas of taxation and opening up markets,” ​Frost said. 

“It was also an opportunity for Whitehall departments to learn of some of the lesser known work that the Scotch whisky industry undertakes to promote responsible drinking and environmental sustainability.”

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