A vital sector for UK exports – the Scotch Whisky Association

As one of the most famous geographical indication in the spirits sector, scotch whisky  is directly exported from the UK to 182 countries worldwide, generating growth and jobs back in the country, not only for the 120 licensed distilleries in Scotland but also for your raw material suppliers and disruptors. In fact, our industry supports over 40,000 jobs across the UK, including 7,000 rural jobs. Overall, we add around £5bn of value to the UK economy. We are also proud that Scotch Whisky distilleries are attracting upwards of 1.5 million visits annually to see how this iconic product is made. Distilleries rank among many well-known UK attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, the British Library, the National Museum of Scotland and Stonehenge! – Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association

Scotch Whisky is popular across the globe and accounts for over a fifth of all UK food and drink exports. The Scotch whisky industry is coming into its own in terms of exports: Scotch exports increased by 4% in 2016 to more than £4 billion, with the value of Single Malts exceeding £1bn for the first time.  Indeed, Scotch continues to lead the way within Scotland’s food and drink sector in particular. The ‘national drink’ makes up 73% of total Scottish food and drink exports.


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Scotch Whisky is popular across the globe and demand is from a diverse range of markets. In terms of regions, the European Union remains the top destination for exports, worth around £1.2bn of the total. North America is the second largest, taking exports worth more than £1bn, followed by Asia with shipments of £768m.

India is becoming increasingly significant with value of exports up almost 14% to £97m to make it the ninth biggest market for Scotch. But its full potential will not be realised until its 150% import tariff is reduced.



Find out more about the Scotch Whisky Association here.

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