The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) addressed the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine on December 4th, highlighting the value of cross border sector trail.
According to the ABFI, the aggregate value of trade in drinks products between the UK and Ireland in 2017 was €364m, with over 23,000 truck movements by the drinks industry taking place across the Irish border annually.
ABFI told the Committee that the Irish drinks industry operates on an integrated all-island basis with seamless cross border supply chains, and three cross border Geographic Indications (GIs): Irish whiskey, Irish cream liqueur and poitín.
It noted that €1.6bn worth of drinks products were exported from the island of Ireland in 2017, with €1.2bn coming from the Republic of Ireland. The aggregate value of trade in drinks products between the UK and Ireland in 2017 was €364m, one third of which, or €121m, was the aggregate value of north-south trade. Meanwhile, over 130m glass bottles are imported into this state from the UK every year.
ABFI told the Committee that the Withdrawal Agreement, which will be voted on next week in the House of Commons, represents the best possible approach to Brexit for the drinks industry.
Th ABFI also called on the Irish Government to ensure that the new Future Growth loan scheme, announced in Budget 2019, or a separate bespoke strand, is open to Irish distilleries and spirits producers.