Harper defends D&G distillers in jobs threat

The future of Scotch whisky sales is a real concern for Scottish distillers with new research highlighting that 22, 000 jobs could be put at risk.

The GMB, a UK trade union which has more than 600,000 members from nearly all industrial sectors, including retail, security, schools, distribution, the utilities, social care, the NHS, ambulance service and local government, has reported that 22,000 jobs continue to be put at risk due to US import tariffs of 25% on single malt Scotch Whisky and Scotch Whisky liqueurs.

Dumfries & Galloway is home to two of the country’s most southern distilleries, Annandale and Bladnoch with the Scottish spirits industry employing 9,000 people directly, with a further 14,700 jobs in the supply chain across the UK.

Recent news from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) shows that global exports have grown by 4.4% to £4.91 billion, with growth in 106 of its global markets driven, particularly in Asia and Africa, with value increases of 9.8% and 11.3% respectively.

The continuation of the 25% tariff means the outlook for the industry remains uncertain and the Scotch Whisky Association has called on the UK Government to work with the GMB and themselves to demand that the US ends the high tariffs.

Head of Commercial, Will Pitchforth, Bladnoch Distillery said;

“We believe tariff-free trade is key to the continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry, Scotland’s most important export.”

Emma Harper MSP South Scotland who has supported a parliamentary motion raising awareness of the GMB research highlighting the threat of the US 25% tariff, said;

“One of our major concerns about Brexit is now in full play, the negotiations we must now have with not just our closest neighbours but with the US market which is the biggest buyer of Scotch Whisky.

“Dumfries & Galloway produces world class food and drink products as does our whole country -including Scotch beef, lamb, salmon and is proudly home to Scotland’s most southern distilleries, Annandale and Bladnoch Distillery. Tearing Scotland away from the European Union means we now face uncertain times for everyone, and certainly our region’s great food and drink producers are experiencing extremely uncertain and worrying times.”


GMB Trade Union
www.gmb.org.uk/news/end-whisky-tariffs-threatening-22000-jobs <www.gmb.org.uk/news/end-whisky-tariffs-threatening-22000-jobs>