By Andy Young
The Irish Whiskey Association has published its "Vision for Irish Whiskey", which outlines its strategy for continued growth.
The strategy document was launched by Ireland's Minister for Agriculture and Food, Simon Coveney, and it is based on a comprehensive survey of the sector. The document reveals plans for growth and for re-establishing Irish whiskey as a major player in the global whisk(e)y market.
The plans detailed in the document include: growing global market share by 300 per cent by 2030 from 4per cent to 12 per cent; increasing exports from 6.5 million nine-litre cases to 12m nine-litre cases by 2020 and then to double exports again to 24m nine-litre cases by 2030.
There are also plans to invest over €1bn by 2025 and to increase production by 41 per cent over that time period.
Speaking at the launch, Coveney said: "Growth of almost 200 per cent over a decade reflects an industry with ambition, a sense of mission, and a deep understanding of individual markets.
"Irish whiskey brands now represent the fastest growing spirit globally and with investment of €1 billion planned over a 10-year period, the product and those who champion it will be well placed to generate growth, exports and jobs, and a very special tourist offering celebrating an all-island heritage."
Bernard Walsh, founder of Walsh Whiskey Distillery and chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association, added: "The potential is massive. If we look at our neighbours in Scotland, we see the world-leading Scotch industry exporting over 90 million nine-litre cases annually. There are over 130 Scottish distilleries that bring investment and employment into rural areas. There is no reason why Ireland cannot achieve similar success.
"We look forward to working with Minister Coveney and other relevant stakeholders going forward to ensure Irish whiskey stays on track to become a true success story for brand Ireland."
The IWA added that 26 new and proposed distilleries will open in the coming years, selling both niche and global premium brands.
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