Chinese recognition for Irish Whiskey and Cream ‘invaluable’

The news that two Irish protected geographical indications (PGIs) will be recognised by China, along with 100 other EU PGIs, has been roundly welcomed by the government.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said after the European Council announced the news today (Monday, November 23) that the recognition in China of Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream would be “invaluable to accelerating exports” to the Asian country.

Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream, among many other EU PGIs, will receive legal protection in China against infringement and misuse of product names.

The agreement is expected to enter into force at the start of 2021.

Minister Varadkar pointed out that the Chinese market is a “high growth-potential market” for European food and drinks. In 2019, Ireland exported over €5 million worth of alcoholic beverages to China, with Irish Whiskey accounting for 22.5% of that.

“This agreement is hugely significant and will deliver real results for exporters. Irish food and beverages are known throughout the world for their quality and high production standards,” he argued.

The protection afforded to Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream will be invaluable in accelerating exports to China. The agreement also offers consumers the ability to discover China’s own culinary specialties as we strive to further expand our trade links with Asia.

Meanwhile, Minister of State with responsibility for trade promotion Robert Troy said: “Irish Cream and Irish Whiskey are renowned across the world for their quality. Ireland’s trade relationship with China is ever-growing and this agreement will strengthen our trading relationship, benefitting both our agri-food sector and our consumers.”

Within four years, the scope of the agreement will expand to include an additional 175 geographical indications from both sides, with the possibility for more to be added after that.