Scotland business

Scotch whisky granted protection in Mozambique

Scotch whisky bottles Image copyright SWA

Mozambique has become the latest African country to grant Scotch whisky legal protection.

State officials have recognised the spirit as a Geographical Indication (GI).

It means only whisky that has been made in Scotland can now legally be sold as Scotch in the country.

The news comes days after Scottish Secretary David Mundell asked Mozambique to grant it legal protection during a visit to the country.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the "legal breakthrough" would give consumers a high level of protection against fakes.

Scotch has been recognised as a GI in a number of markets over the last 12 months, including Botswana which was the first African country to reward it that status.

It has also been given protection in the 17-member countries of the intellectual property body the Organisation Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI).

Scotch is now officially recognised in the laws of nearly 100 countries, including the whole of the European Union.

Mozambique remains a relatively small export market, with direct shipments of Scotch in 2014 worth £1.6m. However, that was up from £214,000 five years earlier.

'Positive outlook'

SWA chief executive David Frost said: "We expect to see demand for Scotch increase in Mozambique as its economy continues to grow.

"We have the same positive outlook for many African countries with a growing middle class seeking out quality, imported products, such as Scotch.

Mr Mundell said: "This is a great result, and I am grateful to the Mozambique government.

"Whisky is one of Scotland's greatest success stories, a globally-recognised premium product.

"This new protection will help Scottish distillers maximise the value of this important new market.

"It will also give consumers in Mozambique the confidence that the dram in their glass is the real thing."

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