Two associations representing whisky distillers in Scotland have agreed to work in partnership to support the industry and its supply chain.
The agreement was sealed with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) yesterday.
Backed by Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, the MoU recognises the record expansion of the industry, with 14 distilleries starting production since 2013 and a further eight to open this year.
There are currently up to 40 new distilleries at various stages of planning and development across Scotland.
The SWA and SCDA will support each other, while remaining distinct organisations with their own memberships.
Mr Ewing said: “This is exactly the sort of collaboration we want to see in our food and drink sector. Closer co-operation has the potential to benefit both organisations and help ensure the continued success of the Scotch whisky industry and its supply chain.
“Craft distilling has blossomed over the past few years and is becoming an increasingly valuable part of our economy, particularly for those who live in our rural and island communities.
“Today marks the start of a partnership that will support the industry into the future, building on Scotch whisky’s long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products.”
SCDA chairman, Alan Wolstenholme, added: “Both long-established Scotch whisky producers and the new wave of smaller distilleries recognise the enormous value and importance of the high regard our national product is held in around the world.
“This agreement demonstrates both organisations’ determination to work co-operatively together to protect and enhance Scotch whisky’s reputation now and in the future.”