Scotch Whisky Association
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|Legal status||Non-profit organisation (limited liability company registered in Edinburgh)|
|Purpose||Promoting and protecting the Scotch whisky industry|
|71 Scotch whisky producers|
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is a trade organisation that represents the Scotch whisky industry. The Scotch whisky industry is an important part of the Scottish economy, and particularly the Scottish export market.
- Chivas Brothers
- John Dewar & Sons
- Drambuie Liqueur Company
- The Edrington Group
- William Grant & Sons
- Whyte and Mackay
- John Haig
- Highland Distillers
- Scotch Malt Whisky Society
- Beam Suntory
- William Teacher & Sons
- John Walker & Sons
Of these, Diageo and Chivas Brothers are the largest.
The SWA's stated purpose is to promote, protect and represent the interests of the whisky industry in Scotland and around the world. Similar to the Portman Group, it also promotes responsible drinking, with campaigns to curb drinking to excess.
It was formed on 17 April 1942. It became a limited company in 1960. The SWA's members represent over 95% of Scotch whisky production, which encompasses over 2,500 brands around the world.
The SWA led an unsuccessful challenge to the Scottish government's minimum alcohol price policy, enshrined in the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012. The UK's Supreme Court ruled on 15 November 2017 that the Act was not disproportionate to the stated policy aim of reducing alcohol misuse and overconsumption, and therefore not contrary to EU law. Karen Betts, the SWA chief executive, said the association "accept[s] the Supreme Court's ruling".
Scotch whisky has been a major industry for decades with exports totalling £4.7 billion in 2018, according to the Association. Whiskey tourism is a side-benefit with distilleries being the third most visited attractions in Scotland, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Some 2 million visits were recorded in 2018, a 6.1% increase over 2017 and a 56% increase compared to 2010. Some 68 distilleries operate visitor centres in Scotland and another eight accept visits by appointment. Hotels, restaurants and other facilities also benefit from the millions of pounds spent by tourists.
The tourism has been a real plus to the economy, and of significant value especially in remote, rural areas, according to Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs. "The Scottish Government is committed to working with partners like the Scotch Whisky Association to increase our tourism offer and encourage more people to visit our distilleries," the Secretary added.
- SWA, Members & Brands, accessed 15 November 2017
- Supreme Court, Scotch Whisky Association and others (Appellants) v The Lord Advocate and another (Respondents) (Scotland) [2017 UKSC 76], 15 November 2017
- SWA, Response to MUP ruling, 15 November 2017
- Record Number of Visitors for Scotch Distilleries
- [https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/latest-news/26192/scotch-whisky-tourism-at-all-time-high/ SCOTCH WHISKY TOURISM AT ALL-TIME HIGH'
- Safe drinking in November 2009
- Industry protection in November 2009
- Protecting the integrity of the industry in December 2007
- One billion bottles exported in April 2007
- 981 million bottles exported in April 2004
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