Minimum alcohol pricing could ‘hurt whisky exports’

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The Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) has called for a meeting with the new SNP government to discuss the party’s plans to introduce a minimum pricing policy on alcohol.

The SWA has warned that the move, likely to become a political reality, would have “long-term consequences.”

Plans to implement a pricing policy, in order to combat Scotland’s binge-drinking culture, have been welcomed by some parts of the drinks industry, as well as by civic and health bodies.

However the SWA said:

“We will be seeking an early meeting with the Scottish government to encourage it to understand all the implications of minimum pricing, including the long term consequences.”

“We are also concerned at the long-term effect on the Scotch Whisky industry in our export markets, a matter we hope the government will consider closely given its policy priority to boost exports.”

 

It claimed the measure would be:

“…a green light to countries, already keen to protect local markets, to introduce spurious health-justified restrictions to keep out Scotch whisky, which is often the main imported competition.

“These proposals risk undermining Scotch Whisky exports and are highly likely to face an international legal challenge”.