Irish cream liqueur’s GI status to be recognised in China

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Drinks Ireland | Spirts highlights opportunity for growth in the sector

Drinks Ireland | Spirits, the representative body for spirits producers in Ireland, has welcomed news today that the Geographical indication (GI) for Irish Cream liqueur / 爱尔兰奶油利口酒 is being recognised in China, in a move it says could strengthen exports of this quality Irish product to one of the largest consumer markets on the planet.

GIs protect the integrity of European products, and in the case of Irish Cream liqueur specifies that it must be made on the island of Ireland and in accordance with certain production standards, outlined in the Irish Cream ‘technical file’[1]. Therefore, no products incorrectly produced or labelled as Irish Cream liqueur can be sold in China.

According to the European Commission, the Chinese market is a high-growth potential market for European food and drinks, with a growing middle class with a taste for iconic, high-quality and genuine European products.

The recognition of the GI for Irish Cream liqueur may help draw additional consumers, increasing demand and exports.

This welcome news comes after the EU and China concluded negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European GIs[2] in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU against imitations and usurpation.

Vincent McGovern, Head of Drinks Ireland | Spirits said:

“We welcome news today that the GI for Irish Cream liqueur is to be recognised and protected in China. China is one of the largest consumer markets and a growing target for high-quality spirits. We anticipate that the Chinese consumer will continue to respond positively to the provenance and heritage that is at the heart of the many successful brands created by the Irish cream liqueur sector.”

Notes to editor
[1] The Irish Cream technical file can be found here: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/gi/geographicalindications-protectedspiritnames/
2 Full list of 100 European GIs to be recognised by China available here: https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/newsroom/2017-06-02-gis.pdf