Exports of Scotch whisky hit a record high last year, according to new figures. Analysis of HMRC data by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) found exports grew 7.8% by value to £4.7bn. The number of bottles exported also reached record levels, growing by 3.6% to 1.28 billion.
With whisky boosting the UK economy by about £5 billion a year, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said ministers are keen to open up new markets around the world for the iconic drink. He spoke out ahead of a meeting on the island of Islay, in the Hebrides, which is home to several distilleries.
A new scheme has been launched to protect the Scotch whisky industry from fake or sub-standard products. The Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme has been set up by the UK government to help consumers identify genuine UK-made products.
Emerging markets helped boost Scotch whisky exports by 22% in the first half of this year, according to new figures. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said global shipments between January and June reached £1.8bn, up from £1.47bn achieved during the same period in 2010.