Steps in the right direction but away from the headlines…….
The recent partnership between announced between Scottish Food and Drink, the umbrella body for Scottish producers and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) shows some good moves in the sector.
While some of the press boys talked about protecting whisky (I’m pretty sure the SWA are on top of that) a good number picked up on the issue that there exists a bit of a grey area when using Scottish names and indicators to promote spirits that have a more tenuous link than their branding suggests. Now it is absolutely true these products are not doing anything wrong but there is certainly divergence in how these aspects are communicated to the consumer and how well informed therefore the customer may be.
Scottish Food and Drink are offering their expertise on various issues to members of the SCDA. However to be a member of the SCDA you must own, operate and bottle your product here. This unquestionably gives the consumer a large degree of confidence as to the “Scottishness” of the drink coming from an SCDA member.
As Caskmaster previously pointed out there is no requirement to be an SCDA member and businesses are doing nothing wrong in operating out side of the organisation. As a result the grey areas previously mentioned are all still in play. The access to the help Scottish Food and Drink can offer may well operate as a useful carrot for organisations to join the SCDA. However it looks like effective regulation may well be the next step forward to helping to clarify the rules under which craft distillers in Scotland can operate. With substantial resources and good political contacts of Scottish Food and Drink you wonder if that is something this new partnership may well be looking at and what the attitude of the big boys to any new rules may be?