Is it genuine? Irish gin sector welcomes new guidelines to prevent the marketing of fake or misleading Irish ‘gin’ products

Thursday, 18 June 2020

New guidance from the Food and Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to ensure that Irish gin produced and marketed here is labelled correctly has been welcomed by Drinks Ireland|Spirits, which represents Ireland’s gin industry.

Concerns have been raised that some products, which are similar to gin, have been marketed to appear as gin and Drinks Ireland|Spirits says the new guidelines will help safeguard the industry against misleading products.

The new guidance states that for a drink to be labelled as Irish gin, a certain production process must be followed. Besides water and alcohol, the only other raw materials that can be used for making gin are natural flavourings referred to as botanicals. The predominant flavour in gin is always juniper. Additional flavourings or plants with flavours may also be used to give variants like pink gin.

These guidelines encompass everything from the use of place names, to the listing of allergen information, to the packaging material used. They will further support producers in complying with EU regulations.

David Boyd-Armstrong co-founder of Rademon Estate Distillery, the producer of Shortcross Gin and Chair of the Irish Gin Working Group in Drinks Ireland|Spirits said:

“Ireland’s gin industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In the domestic market, gin has maintained its position as the fastest growing spirit, and Irish gin in particular has become increasingly popular. There are now many Irish gin producers and numerous Irish gin brands on the island of Ireland, and consumers at home and abroad are responding positively to the diverse and distinct tastes being created here.

However, as Irish gin grows in popularity, there is increased chance that the consumer may be misled on what it is that they are consuming. This can undermine the high-quality products being created by our Irish gin industry. Drinks Ireland and its gin producing and brand owning members welcome the new FSAI guidance, which we believe will be good for the consumer and good for the industry.”