Wednesday, April 09 10:53:50
The Irish Whiskey Association (IW) has announced that the sector is set to invest over E1 billion in Ireland in the next 10 years.
With over 15 new distilleries currently being developed across the country, the new association brings together new entrants and existing companies to promote Irish whiskey and to ensure the product is given vital protection going forward.
It was launched today by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney.
Irish whiskey exports have grown by 220pc since 2003 and are now valued at E350m.
In 2003, Irish whiskey made up just over 9pc of beverages exports, which has grown to over 28pc of total beverages exports from Ireland.
Export figures will, it is predicted, double to 12 million cases by 2020 and double again to 24 million cases by 2030.
Irish whiskey employs 5,000 directly and indirectly and is set to grow to 6,500 by 2025 while turnover for the industry is almost E400m, with an annual direct domestic spend of E237m.
Commenting on the new association, Peter Morehead, Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and Production Director at Irish Distillers said: "There has been sustained growth in Irish Whiskey over the last 20 of years, with the category experiencing double-digit growth since the turn of the millennium and the trend set to continue. Three years ago, the island of Ireland had four distilleries in operation- in the next three to five years that number will grow to over fifteen if all the current projects move forward. Last year, our companies exported 6.2 million 9-litre cases worldwide; we expect that number to double to 12 million cases by 2020 and double again to 24 million cases by 2030."