At the Australian Distillers Association 2022 Conference in April, Greg Holland from Spirits & Cocktails Australia, advised participants of the opportunity to join him at the SpiritsEurope conference to be held in Dublin. The following delegates opted into a unique opportunity for professional development and networking with global peers.
The delegation consisted of:
Over the course of the program, the delegation engaged in roundtable meetings with our peers from the Irish Whiskey Association and Scotch Whisky Association to discuss key issues impacting the Australian spirits category, including technical standards, sustainability and trade with the UK and Ireland. These roundtable meetings were complemented by the delegation’s attendance at the spiritsEUROPE Congress in Dublin, which provided insight into the European experience of responding to rising inflation and supply chain issues in the wake of COVID, and trade issues emerging from Brexit and the negotiation of new EU and UK free trade agreements.
spiritsEUROPE also extended an invitation for Greg and Australian Distillers CEO Paul McLeay, as respective heads of our trade associations, to deliver a presentation on the impact of global and local spirits producers working together on joint advocacy initiatives. Their presentation was followed by a similar presentation from Chris Swonger of DISCUS, and together these sessions were used as a catalyst for a discussion among spiritsEUROPE members to consider their forward plan for global and local producers working together on issues impacting their domestic markets, and across Europe. DISCUS has invited us to present a similar proposal and organise a trade delegation at their conference in May next year.
The delegations’ engagements in Dublin were enhanced by positive interactions with the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, who attended the roundtable meeting with the Irish Whiskey Association and a dinner event with Spirits & Cocktails. The Ambassador shared his enthusiasm and support for the growth of Australian-produced spirits to be exported to Ireland and has been forthcoming with ideas and offers of support since our engagement with him.
Additionally, the delegation attended a series of behind-the-scenes tours of distilleries and visitor experiences in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. These visits were facilitated by colleagues at both Irish Whiskey Association and Scotch Whisky Association, with the generous support of several our members. These visits were also often led by distillers and senior managers of the visitor experiences, which provided several opportunities for meaningful discussions with the delegation.
The distillery visits and experiences included:
Additionally, there were meetings with Australian consular and trade officials in London to discuss the UK/Australia Free Trade Agreement and market entry opportunities for Australian-manufactured spirits products. As well as the World Spirits Alliance, where Australia was able to participate as a panellist to discuss nutrition and health labelling issues, in particular Australia’s recent experience of pregnancy warning labelling and our ongoing engagement with FSANZ on sugar and energy labelling. Thank you to David Ridden for being able to attend the component in Geneva.
The delegation also discussed key issues impacting the Australian spirits category including sustainability and trade with the UK and Ireland, insights into the European experience of responding to rising inflation and supply chain issues in the wake of COVID, and trade issues emerging from Brexit and the negotiation of new EU and UK free trade agreements
The delegation also benefited from behind-the-scenes tour and knowledge sharing from large and craft distilleries in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland to deepen their understanding of the processes and scale of production.
The benefits of the tour include:
The Presentation made by the CEOs to SpiritsEUROPE and the presentations given by Irish Whiskey Association and Scotch Whisky Association are attached and can be accessed by members below.
SCA – Australia Presentation
Australian Distillers Association
Suite 1601, 447 Kent Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000
ABN 77 622 845 275