The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has successfully secured a certification mark for Irish whiskey in South Africa. The region is the seventh largest market for Irish whiskey, with 4.43m bottles sold in 2017.

The registration will for the first time provide legal protection for genuine Irish whiskey, ensuring much tougher enforcement action against fake Irish whiskey products. This follows a successful trademark registration in Australia in February of this year.

“The Irish whiskey industry has trebled its investment in the protection work of the IWA this year” said Carleen Madigan, legal advisor with the IWA.

“Irish whiskey has recently become protected in Japan and Canada as a result of EU agreements. The category will soon obtain protection in Argentina, Brazil and Vietnam as a result of further concluded deals.”

Quality and growth

The move has also been described as a boost for consumers, with a guarantee of quality and authenticity for the product.

The Irish whiskey market continues to grow in South Africa, with 369,000 cases sold in 2017, a 4.5% increase on the previous year.

Irish whiskey is now recognised and protected in 46 countries, with further applications pending.

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