Scotch Whisky gets strong legal protection in Botswana
02 Jul 2015
Recognised as a 'geographical indication' for first time
Scotch Whisky has been recognised as a 'geographical indication'
(GI) - meaning the description can only be used on whisky produced
in Scotland in accordance with UK law - for the first time in an
African country. This legal breakthrough in Botswana will give
consumers a high level of protection against fakes.
Scotch is leading the way in Botswana by becoming the first
product to be recognised as a GI, following an application by the
Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
Scotch must be made in Scotland from water, cereals and yeast
and matured for at least three years. Scotch is now officially
recognised in the laws of over 70 countries, including the whole of
the European Union. GI status is of great commercial value to the
Scotch Whisky industry and gives consumers confidence in the
quality and provenance of what they are buying.
While Botswana is a relatively small export market, the value of
direct shipments of Scotch last year was up 163% to £456,728 from
£173,638 in 2013. A lot of the Scotch destined for Botswana also
goes through distribution hubs in South Africa.
The SWA sees great potential for Scotch across Africa as
economies develop and become more urbanised. Many young
professionals in Africa see Scotch as an aspirational drink of
choice, according to the SWA. But as Scotch grows in popularity,
attempts are often made to try to take unfair advantage of its
success, for example by trying to make and sell fakes. Recognition
as a GI helps protect against such illegal activities.
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:
"We expect to see demand for Scotch increase in many African
countries in coming years as economies grow. It's important that
consumers have confidence in the quality of what they are buying,
which this recognition of Scotch as a 'geographical indication'
will help to achieve.
"Botswana recognising Scotch as a GI - a product that must be
made in Scotland - is ground-breaking as it's the first product to
be given this status. It's also the first time Scotch has been
successfully registered as a GI anywhere in Africa. This move will
protect consumers and give a boost to the growth of Scotch exports
British High Commissioner to Botswana, Nick Pyle, said: "This is
great news for British business in Botswana. It will give
reassurance to consumers in Botswana that they are buying a quality
branded product from the UK."
Geographical Indications (GI)
Only products that have a specific geographical origin and possess
a quality and a reputation or other characteristic associated with
that origin qualify for GI status. That means Scotch Whisky is
recognised as a product that must be made in Scotland and is
registered in Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.
GIs were first formally recognised in the World Trade
Organisation Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights in 1994. All WTO members must protect a GI from
misuse. The Scotch Whisky Association is also registering Scotch
Whisky as a GI in as many countries as possible.
With media queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, Scotch
Whisky Association head of communications, 0044 131 222 9230 or
0044 7432 605385, email firstname.lastname@example.org