SWA to visit Mexico

Senior representatives of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) are visiting Mexico next week (June 4-7) to promote the industry and to sign an agreement with the regulatory body for tequila.

Mexico is a rapidly growing market for scotch, with exports increasing 20% last year to reach £110 million.

The SWA says Mexico is now the ninth largest overseas market for scotch. Demand from aspirational consumers has helped make scotch one of the fastest growing UK exports to Mexico, representing 8% of all UK exports to the market.

On June 6 SWA chief executive David Frost, will deliver a talk in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. He will give an overview of the SWA’s work to protect and promote the scotch whisky industry around the world, including its commitment to sustainability.

The scotch whisky industry launched its ‘Environmental Strategy’ in 2009 and it says it is on course to meet its targets. For example, use of non-fossil fuel for energy has increased to 16% from 3% since 2008 and greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 10%. The target for 2050 is for 80% of energy to come from non-fossil fuel.

Frost will also discuss the benefits of scotch whisky’s status as a ‘Geographical Indication’. This means, by law, scotch can only be made in Scotland from cereals, water and yeast according to legal requirements.

While in Guadalajara the SWA will sign a cooperation agreement with the Consejo Regulador del Tequila - the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT). The agreement is designed to protect two globally recognised, iconic spirits and consumers. It will encourage greater co-operation in a range of areas, such as fair competition and promotion of responsible drinking.

Frost and Alan Park, SWA legal affairs adviser, will also meet government officials in Mexico City to discuss issues relevant to the scotch whisky industry.

Frost said: “The cooperation agreement with the Tequila Regulatory Council will help scotch whisky and tequila work together to improve market access for both spirits and protect their reputation for quality.

“Mexico is an increasingly important market for scotch whisky - exports reached £110m last year and it is now a top 10 market. It is good to share the success of the industry with a range of audiences in Mexico and discuss the importance of protecting scotch whisky worldwide,” said Frost.

UK ambassador to Mexico Duncan Taylor said: “Mexico is the UK’s second largest trading partner in Latin America and is a key strategic market for the UK. Scotch whisky is one of the UK's fastest growing exports to Mexico.”