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Welsh whisky receives global protected status

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Single Malt Welsh Whisky has recieved protected geographical status under UKGI. Image: Getty Images, lucentius
Single Malt Welsh Whisky has recieved protected geographical status under UKGI. Image: Getty Images, lucentius

Related tags Whisky Protected geographical status Drink

Single Malt Welsh Whisky has secured protected geographical indication (PGI) status, the first spirit to receive protection under the scheme since its launch.

The spirit is the first in the UK to achieve GI status since the UKGI was launched in 2021 and is also Wales’s first spirit to receive protection under the scheme.

Single Malt Welsh Whisky is the 20th​ Welsh product to receive GI status, joining the likes of Anglesey Sea Salt PDO (protected designation of origin, PGI Welsh Lamb, PGI Welsh Beef and Welsh Leeks PGI.

What is PGI status?

Food, drink and agricultural products with a geographical connection or that are made using traditional methods can be registered and protected as intellectual property. This protection is called a geographical indication (GI).

GI protection guarantees a product’s characteristics or reputation, authenticity and origin. It protects the product name from misuse or imitation.

The UK GI schemes protect registered product names when they are sold in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales).

Source: Gov.co.uk

Protecting the name

Welsh government minister for Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths, said: “It is brilliant news Single Malt Welsh Whisky has joined the Welsh GI family with its name now protected.

“The Welsh whisky industry continues to go from strength to strength, playing an important role in the food and drink sector here in Wales.

“I am very pleased for all those involved in gaining this prestigious status and ensures this fantastic product gains the recognition and prestige it deserves.”

The application for GPI for Single Malt Welsh Whisky followed a period of rapid growth for the industry in recent years since the relaunch of a Single Malt Whisky Product by Penderyn Distillery in 2004.

Increased demand for Welsh spirits

This increase led to a collective of four Welsh distilleries – Penderyn, In the Welsh Wind, Da Mhile and Coles – to pursue and application for GPI Status.

Stephen Davies, chief executive at Penderyn, said: "The achievement of UKGI status for Single Malt Welsh Whisky is a significant milestone for Penderyn as a producer, and also for the wider Welsh whisky industry. It assists in safeguarding both the quality of the product and also its source of origin.

"It’s an exciting step forward and one that puts focus on an industry that has been growing steadily over the last 20 years."

Single Malt Welsh Whisky is currently exported to more than 45 countries and is one of Wales’s most influential exports. It is forecast to generate revenues of £23m in the current financial year, including domestic, export and travel retail sales.

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