The aim of this unique new mentoring programme is to ensure that new entrants to the category have access to the information and support they need to produce high quality Irish whiskey that global consumers expect.
The Irish Whiskey market is the fastest growing spirits category in the world and has grown by an impressive 200% in the last decade. This unique programme will see established industry leaders mentor new entrants in the market and provide them with the necessary support and guidance to ensure the success not only of their new businesses but also the future and growth of the Irish Whiskey category. The programme will kick off today with a workshop hosted by the Irish Whiskey Association where industry experts from a number of companies will share their knowledge on issues such as production, health and safety, licensing requirements, branding and route to market.
The programme will consist of three further stages and participants will be able to access a new one stop shop online portal to help them plan their business. Stages 3 and 4 will focus on active mentoring where mentor companies such as Irish Distillers and Bushmills will be paired with new entrants. These stages will involve planning, design, construction and commissioning. The last stage will focus on production, highlighting the importance of ensuring that the high quality premium nature of the category is maintained.
Speaking at the launch Miriam Mooney Head of the Irish Whiskey Association says: “Today marks a really exciting new milestone in Irish Whiskey’s history. This is a unique programme which will see industry leaders support new market entrants and showcases the collegiality amongst industry and members of the Irish Whiskey Association. The mentor companies will share information, expertise and knowledge with new entrants enabling them to plan and succeed in the Irish whiskey business whilst at the same time upholding the integrity of the brand”.
Participant in the new mentoring programme, Bernard Walsh Chairman of the Irish Whiskey Association and CEO of Walsh Distillery says: “The Irish Whiskey industry is at a pivotal moment in its history. We know that there is huge consumer appetite for our products globally, we only have to look across the water to Scotland with 108 distilleries in operation to see what’s possible. This initiative today is very welcome and the mentor companies are to be applauded for investing their expertise in new projects, to ensure high standards are maintained. For the industry to grow and compete internationally with scotch and bourbon products we cannot compromise on quality. The advice and support of industry experts is invaluable in helping companies navigate what can be difficult and complex issues.
David Quinn, Technical Director, Irish Distillers, adds: “Irish Distillers is delighted to be participating in this industry-first programme. As the Irish whiskey category continues its growth at pace, innovation will be key to realising the full potential of Irish whiskey on the world stage. The mentoring partnership is mutually beneficial, with new entrants bringing new brands and stories to the global market, and established companies imparting the legacy and traditions of our founders as well as their approaches to innovation. At Irish Distillers, we have already seen incredible results, working with distilleries such as Walsh Whiskey Distillery. We look forward to growing our relationships with other emerging companies and continuing on our journey of nurturing the Irish whiskey renaissance globally.”
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