A new interactive map geolocating all of Europe’s 240 GI spirits has been launched today, showing the great diversity, rich cultural heritage, and economic importance of these products for communities all across Europe.

Launching the map, Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE said:

“The map shows where exactly in Europe the 240 different GI spirits are from. Products like Cognac, Irish Whiskey and Polish Vodka are among our most well-known, yet the list is so much longer! For the first time today, we are – quite literally – putting all of these GI spirits on the map. I invite you to explore this exciting new tool, and to discover more about the different regions and passionate people producing this extraordinarily wide range of quality spirits.”

European spirits with protections known as Geographical Indications (GIs) are both popular at home and hugely appreciated worldwide: domestic sales amounted to more than €10 billion in 2017, while GI spirits made up two-thirds of total European spirits exports worth €12.5 billion last year.  As such, the economic contribution of GI spirits to local communities is substantial, and never more so as Europe begins to re-open from lockdowns.

Mathilde Chareyron, EU Representative of the Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network (oriGIn) said:

“This is a great way to visualize the cultural, economic and social importance of Geographical Indications in the European Union. It will allow citizens to better understand the success of the EU’s GI policy and the key contribution that GIs make to local development. This is a valuable addition to the work of OriGIn in ensuring better protection and promotion of geographical indications.”

A study published by the European Commission in April of this year found that spirits with geographical indications sell for over two and a half times more than products without the protection, underlining the high quality and reputation that consumers attach to GI products.

Another important way in which spirits, and GI spirits in particular, contribute to local development is spirits tourism. From family-owned micro-distilleries to some of the world’s biggest and best-known brands, distilleries across Europe attract millions of visitors every year from across the globe. In 2019, two million people visited Scotch Whisky distilleries, almost two million tourists visited French distilleries, while Irish distilleries welcomed more than one million visitors.

Calling for support for Europe’s distillers, Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE, said:

“Distillers across Europe can and will play their part in driving the European recovery after the devasting pandemic, but they need support. We need the European Commission to continue to champion the protection of GIs in trade discussions. With promotion and the right supports, distillers will once again drive exports and create jobs and growth in Europe”.

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For further information, please contact: Ulrich Adam - Director General / +32 477636751/ adam@spirits.eu

Note to editors

  • spiritsEUROPE proudly represents one of Europe’s most valuable agri-food export sectors and, with it, the interests of 31 associations of spirits producers as well as 10 leading multinational companies. More information can be found here: https://spirits.eu/
  • oriGIn - The Organization for an International Geographical Indications Network - oriGIn - is a non-for-profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Geneva. Established in 2003, origin is today a truly global alliance of Geographical Indications (GIs) from a large variety of sectors, representing some 500 associations of producers and other GI-related institutions from 40 countries. https://www.origin-gi.com/




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