Tánaiste Welcomes Special Status of Irish Cream & Irish Whiskey in China

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EU Council Agrees list of Geographical Indications between European Union and China

Monday 23 November The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., today (Monday the 23rd of November) welcomed agreement that Irish Whiskey and Irish cream will be given special status in China.

The European Council today approved the Agreement on the Protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) between the European Union and China. A geographical indication is a distinctive sign used to identify a product whose quality, reputation or other characteristics relate to its geographical origin. The Agreement will see over 100 EU GIs including two Irish GIs – Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream – granted a high level of protection on the Chinese market. Likewise the Agreement will also see 100 Chinese GIs including Wuyuan Green Tea and Panjin Rice protected in the EU.

The Agreement is expected to enter into force at the start of 2021. 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 these exports.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD said:

“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. The protection afforded to Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream will be invaluable in accelerating exports to China.

“The Agreement also offers Irish consumers the ability to discover China’s own culinary specialities as we strive to further expand our trading links with Asia.

“This Agreement is a concrete example of cooperation between two of the world’s largest traders and demonstrates the importance of such agreements in building strong trade relations.”

Minister of State 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, benefiting both our agri-food sector and our consumers.”

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