The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the industry trade body, has become the first UK group to join Geneva-based Organisation for International Geographical Indications Network (ORIGIN). This membership will help promote Scotch Whisky as a geographical indication (GI) – a product that must be made in Scotland.
ORIGIN is the not-for-profit organisation which works internationally to improve protection for geographical indications (GIs). A GI is a product of a specific geographical origin that has qualities and a reputation associated with that region.
ORIGIN also promotes GIs as a tool for sustainable development for local producers and communities.
David Frost, SWA chief executive, said: “Geographical indications (GIs) such as Scotch Whisky have become very important in world trade. Protecting GIs is not just about intellectual property, it is also about protecting cultural heritage and employment, particularly in rural areas.
“ORIGIN is very important in facilitating and co-ordinating the interests of GIs around the world. We are delighted to expand our international connections by working with the organisation.”
Massimo Vittori, chief executive of ORIGIN, said: “We are very pleased to have a group such as the SWA – with its outstanding experience in protecting and promoting the GI Scotch Whisky around the world – as a member of our worldwide network.
“This confirms that unity is strength. More and more GI groups from different countries and sectors are joining forces to ensure that GIs are recognised and effectively protected internationally.”