Irish whiskey and Irish cream to get special status in China

Move comes following agreement between the European Union and China on Monday

The Chinese market is a high-growth potential market for European food and drinks. Photograph: iStock

The Chinese market is a high-growth potential market for European food and drinks. Photograph: iStock

 

Irish whiskey and Irish cream will be given special status in China following an agreement with the EU, the Government has announced.

The European Council approved the Agreement on the Protection of Geographical Indications between the EU and China on Monday.

A geographical indication is a distinctive sign used to identify a product with quality, reputation or other characteristics that relate to its geographical origin. The agreement will see more than 100 EU geographical indication granted a high level of protection on the Chinese market.

Likewise the agreement will also see 100 Chinese geographical indications, including Wuyuan Green Tea and Panjin Rice, protected in the EU.

Alcoholic beverages

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 about €5 million worth of alcoholic beverages to China, with Irish whiskey accounting for 22.5 per cent of these exports.

“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,” Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said. “The protection afforded to Irish whiskey and Irish cream will be invaluable in accelerating exports to China.”