Ian Hudghton has stepped to assist Scotch whisky producers who are
concerned over Diageo’s plans to create and market a “pure malt” whisky
under the name of Cardhu. The MEP, who was asked by industry leaders to
help protect the good name of single malts, has made an approach to the
European Commission, asking whether Scottish single malts could be
recognised under the EU’s Agriculture Quality Policy. This policy
entitles products to protection either by Designation of Origin,
Geographical Indication or Traditional Speciality Guarantee and currently
covers items such as Scotch beef and lamb.
letter to Stephen Whitehead of Allied Domecq and to Hamish Morison of the
Scotch Whisky Association, Mr Hudghton says:
been following, with considerable concern, reports of Diageo’s plans to
create a “pure malt” whisky from blending single malts and share your
anxieties about what this might do to the reputation of Scotland’s single
malt whisky reputation.
“A way in
which a producer can seek to preserve the good name and prevent imitation
of his product is through applying for protection under the EU’s
Agriculture Quality Policy. Malt whisky could, arguably, fall into any of
the three categories under the policy - Designation of Origin,
Geographical Indication or Traditional Speciality Guarantee. South of the
border brewers of Kentish ales and Newcastle brown ale have applied for,
and won such a designation and I see no reason why single malt whisky
should not join them on the UK’s list of protected drinks products.
Hudghton is making some initial enquiries to the Commission on behalf of
the industry to see whether this proposal has some mileage in it.