SWA positive over scotch future

The scotch whisky industry is in a positive frame mind and expects a return to growth, despite recent twists and turns.

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, David Frost, was speaking at a briefing for city and business-to-business journalists last night in London.

He said: “The mood in the industry is pretty positive. We are a classic long term industry. We expect twists and turns but we expect that we will swiftly come back to growth.”

He welcomed new entrants to scotch whisky, saying there were approximately 40 new distilleries or scotch suppliers coming into the sector.

With 90% of scotch whisky exported, he said what happens overseas dictates what happens to the industry. “With about 100 markets, you win a few and you lose a few,” Frost quipped. While sales had slowed in traditional markets such as in the Eurozone and in China, there had been growth in Taiwan, India and Japan.

Gaining access to some closed markets, remained a “constant fight”, said Frost. Asked specifically about the lowering of India’s high import trade tariffs, he replied: “It isn’t going to happen anytime soon.”     

He said the SWA was strongly in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union and following the Scottish vote in independence, Frost said the association had a “constructive relationship” with the Scottish National Party.