Minimum prices could harm whisky exports

02 March, 2009

Scotch whisky industry leaders have warned that plans to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol in Scotland could put the category in jeopardy in international markets.

The Scotch Whisky Association has warned that the plans – outlined by the Scottish government today – are likely to breach EU and international trade law, and could undermine the industry’s £3 billion a year export trade.

The Scottish government wants to use minimum pricing to fight alcohol abuse in the country.

Chief executive Gavin Hewitt said: “We agree that attitudes to alcohol in Scotland need to change, but minimum pricing is not the answer.

“It is hard to believe any Scottish government would bring forward proposals that are likely to be both illegal in international trade law and risk damaging the whisky industry.

“Minimum pricing achieves both and undermines our success in breaking down illegal discrimination against Scotch whisky around the world.”




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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