Scotch Whisky and government working together

19 Jul 2016

Collaboration vital in a time of change

The Scotch Whisky industry has emphasised its commitment to working with the Scottish Government to the benefit of the wider economy.

Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) chief executive David Frost met with Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary Rural Economy and Connectivity, this month to discuss current challenges and opportunities. Such collaboration between industry and government is particularly important during such a time of change brought about by the outcome of the EU referendum.

Scotch Whisky production plays a vital role in rural communities across Scotland. Distilleries are a source of jobs in areas that might otherwise find it hard to sustain them, and are strongly aligned with wider tourism activities in rural economies. More than 7,000 workers in the Scotch Whisky industry are employed in rural communities.  And Scotch Whisky is a key competitive strength for the Scottish economy and in particular its exports.

But the SWA said more can always be done to support the rural economy, and boost the food and drink industry, so close collaboration with government is necessary.

Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: "We remain focused on pursuing all available options to keep Scotland in the EU, and that means working closely with vital industries like the whisky sector to ensure that we seek to protect their and Scotland's interests. We are looking to develop a regular dialogue with the industry to find solutions and answers as we navigate this uncharted territory." 

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "We had a very worthwhile meeting with Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing.  I welcome the Scottish Government's intention to consult consistently with the Scotch Whisky industry, so that we can both work to support the wider economy and sustain jobs during this uncertain period.   Such dialogue is particularly important as Brexit negotiations begin, so I am glad we agreed to meet on a regular basis."

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For more information on the SWA visit www.scotch-whisky.org.uk and follow us on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA

With queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of communications, Tel 0131 222 9230/07432 605385, rgallagher@swa.org.uk