Spirits companies and producer organisations have joined forces in Geneva for the formal creation of the World Spirits Alliance (WSA), an international trade association dedicated to representing the views and interests of the spirits sector at the international level.
Members decided to set up a dedicated organisation to act as the common global voice for the distilled spirits sector.
The organisation’s membership includes trade associations such as SpiritsEurope, Association of Canadian Distillers and The Scotch Whisky Association as well as major spirits companies, including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Brown-Forman, Rémy Cointreau and Campari.
WSA plans to carry out “ambitious strategies” to combat illicit alcohol and will aim to pursue the elimination of “discriminatory” taxes.
“Many of us have been working together for nearly two decades, hence setting up a formal trade association to act as a united global voice on the integrity and social responsibility of our spirits industry is a natural and important step forward,” said Marie Audren, who will act as secretary general for the WSA.
“Distilled spirits are a vibrant and highly dynamic sector with a unique diversity of products and producers across the world.”
Rodolfo González González (Camara Nacional de la Industria Tequilera), who has been elected as first president of the WSA, said: “The aims of the WSA are to create a common platform for exchange and have a representative body that will allow us to comment on issues of global relevance, particularly in the areas of trade and regulatory policy, and help develop a positive environment for the sustainable success of the sector.”
Amrit Kiran Singh (International Spirits & Wines Association of India), who has been named vice president, added: “Distilled spirits are celebrated and responsibly enjoyed around the globe and generate jobs, economic growth and tax revenue in the countries where they are produced.
“At the same time, in many markets around the world, distilled spirits are heavily taxed and regulated, and we face trade barriers that are only applicable, or applied more excessively, to distilled spirits. This situation needs to be reviewed and addressed.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019