Friday 11 May 2012

Whiskey spearheads food exports

There was an article in The Economist recently on the success of Scottish food and drink exports:
...the ease with which her chocolates have found foreign buyers owes much to the reputation for quality that Scottish food and drink have gained thanks to malt whisky distillers. "Small artisan producers like us are following in their footsteps", she says. 
The export value of Scotch whisky, which has proved virtually impervious to the global economic slowdown, rose by 71% between 2006 and 2011 to £4.23 billion ($6.72 billion). Over the same period food exports have risen by a similarly impressive 65%.
I think we can replicate that in Ireland. We have been letting the Scots do all the running and they cannily linked the term "single malt" with both Scottishness and high quality. But the single malt is a native style in Ireland too plus we have the uniquely Irish and wonderful "single pot still" whiskey that Irish Distillers had been hiding under a bushel until last year.

The imminent arrival of new, smaller distilleries will add more even variety and cachet to the Irish whiskey landscape.

So, Irish Foodies, think of those millions of bottles of Irish whiskey streaming out across the globe as ambassadors for Irish quality, craft and heritage. Hitch those organic sausages and bacon jams to the express whiskey train. Next stop: the world!

The second wave of great Irish produce (photo courtesy of Bord Bia)