SWA Secures GI Status for Scotch Whisky in the Philippines

Discover how the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) successfully secured Geographical Indication (GI) status for Scotch Whisky in the Philippines, enhancing its recognition and protection in the global market.


3/3/20242 min read

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) recently made the announcement of a landmark happening for the country, which was that Scotch Whisky had been accorded Geographical Indication (GI) status. It recognizes the revered status of the beverage but also marks the first time that a UK product has received GI status in the Philippines, underlining the unique cultural and economic links the two nations share.

Philippine legislators have now officially recognized Scotch Whisky as a product that should be made in Scotland and by tradition to protect and authenticate the quality and individual character that has made the spirit globally known. This GI status helps protect the whiskey, in the sense that nobody can counterfeit this Scotch Whiskey, hence maintaining its very revered heritage and being real within its jurisdiction.

This was a positive development, said Caitlin O'Donnell, senior legal counsel at SWA, referring to the fact that Scotch Whisky exports had risen by almost 40% in 2023 as compared to 2019. Highlighting this rising interest in the marketplace, it is found that Filipino consumers are also accepting Scotch Whisky with time. He realized a very important goal of the SWA to be the one that ensures world consumers' confidence in the authentic nature of Scotch Whisky. The role of GI status in the Philippines is the paramount role that it takes in preserving the integrity and reputation of the National Drink of Scotland from getting destroyed because of its name being referred to by counterfeit products.

The previous recognition of Scotch Whisky as a GI in the Philippines is in line with the protection given to other distinguished products previously accorded the same, for example, Guimaras Mangoes, Cognac, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Such recognitions are of paramount importance to the values and quality linked to the product.

Dr. James Thackery, Director for Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Manila, greeted the decision and said it was a landmark in protecting the unique characteristics and high standards of Scotch Whisky. He is proud that Scotch Whisky will be one of the very first products to receive GI status in the Philippines, actually reflecting the country's deep appreciation and demand for this UK export.

What is more, Thjson's account of this brilliant recognition is for the Philippines and its UK relations in trade, noting that the bilateral trade reached a record level of £3 billion for both countries last year. He assured that the British Embassy in Manila will continue to support UK exports in every possible way, including promoting and protecting their esteemed reputations in the Philippines.

More than a mere label, the GI status of Scotch Whisky in the Philippines represents authenticity, and quality, and is part of Scotland's return for the rich cultural exchange with the Philippines. This shall assure that the consumers of Scotch Whisky in the Philippines do partake in the real Scotch Whisky and that they shall, therefore, contribute to the development of the UK-Philippines trade relationship through mutual appreciation of this iconic drink. 

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