Scotch Whisky gets top legal protection in Mozambique
18 Feb 2016
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 - in Mozambique.
This legal breakthrough in Mozambique will give consumers a high
level of protection against fakes. Scotch has been recognised as a
GI in a number of markets over the last 12 months, including
Botswana which was the first African country to reward it that
status, and the 17 member countries of the Organisation Africaine
de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI).
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 nearly 100 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 Mozambique is a relatively small export market, the value
of direct shipments of Scotch in 2014 was £1.6 million, up from
£214,232 five years earlier. Volume reached 505,143 70cl bottles at
40% alcohol by volume, up from 59,714 bottles in 2009. A lot of the
Scotch destined for Mozambique also goes through distribution hubs
in South Africa.
The SWA sees great potential for Scotch across Africa as
economies develop and become more urbanised. Mozambique has
experienced economic growth in recent year with gross domestic
product (GDP) up more than 7 % in 2014 and the country has been
attracting inward investment. Many young professionals in
Mozambique, and across 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 to increase in Mozambique as
its economy continues to grow. We have the same positive outlook
for many African countries with a growing middle class seeking out
quality, imported products, such as Scotch. It's important that
consumers have confidence in the provenance of what they are
buying, which this recognition of Scotch as a 'geographical
indication' will help to achieve.
"We would also like to thank the UK Government for its
assistance. Earlier this week, while in Mozambique, the Scottish
Secretary David Mundell spoke of Scotch Whisky as a great success
story. He emphasised the importance of protecting it from
imitations and the benefits of GI status."
Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: "This is a
great result, and I am grateful to the Mozambique government.
Whisky is one of Scotland's greatest success stories, a
globally-recognised premium product. This new protection will help
Scottish distillers maximise the value of this important new
market. It will also give consumers in Mozambique the
confidence that the dram in their glass is the real thing."
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