Industry & Business

Legal Protection For Irish Whiskey in South Africa

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Legal Protection For Irish Whiskey in South Africa

Legal Protection For Irish Whiskey in South Africa
August 15
10:32 2019

The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has successfully registered Irish whiskey as a certification mark in South Africa, the seventh largest market for Irish whiskey in terms of volume. This registration provides legal protection for Irish whiskey in South Africa for the first time and follows a successful trademark registration for Irish whiskey in Australia in February this year.

These registrations are a milestone for the category, as they ensure much tougher enforcement action can be taken against fake Irish whiskey products. In turn this greatly benefit consumers as they can enjoy Irish Whiskey confident in the quality and authenticity of the product.

Strong export market

South Africa is the seventh major export market for Irish whiskey and the largest export market in Africa. In 2017, 369,000 cases, or 4.43 million bottles of Irish whiskey were sold in South Africa – an increase of 4.5% on the previous year.

Commenting on the registration, Carleen Madigan, Legal Advisor of the Irish Whiskey Association, said: “The registration of Irish whiskey as a certification mark in South Africa is another major achievement in our efforts to protect the integrity of Irish Whiskey worldwide. Legal protection in such an important market forms the solid foundation on which the industry’s success is built. This will ensure Irish whiskey maximises its potential and maintains its growth trajectory.

“This year, the Irish whiskey industry has trebled its investment in the protection work of the IWA. This has enabled us to significantly expand our remit in securing the recognition and protection for Irish whiskey in important export markets, like South Africa and Australia.

“This protection greatly enhances our ability to defend the industry against imitation products, which threaten the integrity of Irish whiskey and the strong reputation it has built up over many years.  It also undermines consumer confidence in genuine Irish whiskey products.”

Protection in 46 countries

Irish whiskey is now recognised and protected in 46 countries globally, with many more applications pending. The EU has also greatly helped to extend recognition for Irish whiskey by seeking protection for EU Geographical Indications in free trade agreements with third countries.


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