Friday, 22nd July 2011
Euro MPs see eco-friendly opportunities for Scotch whisky
A high-level group of MEPs has visited one of Scotland’s leading-edge whisky-making facilities in an effort to better understand how low carbon technologies are contributing to Scotland’s burgeoning food and drink exports, allowing them to meet emerging market demand while meeting EU emission targets.
During the visit to Diageo’s Roseisle Distillery in Speyside, the MEPs were shown how a £40 million investment in the distillery has contributed to the company’s ambitious environmental targets. Roseisle was constructed using a combination of modern environmental technologies and traditional distilling techniques, making it one of the most environmentally sustainable Scotch whisky distilleries. The majority of the by-products are recycled on site in a bioenergy facility, helping the distillery to generate most of its own energy and reduce potential CO2 emissions by approximately 13,000 tonnes, the equivalent to taking 10,000 family cars off the road.
The group was invited to Scotland by Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson and included Gabriele Albertini MEP (Italy), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, Sir Robert Atkins MEP (North East England), member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Astrid Lulling MEP (Luxembourg), chair of the European Parliament Wine Intergroup.
Commenting after the visit, Struan Stevenson MEP said:
“Whisky is of massive importance to Scotland, earning more than £2.7 billion per year for our economy and employing around 35,000 people. And Roseisle distillery provides a glowing example of how the industry can thrive in the face of growing EU pressure to help meet emissions targets.
“I was therefore delighted to be able to invite this influential group of MEPs to see first-hand how such a key industry for Scotland’s economic growth is adapting to these environmental expectations, while also respecting the unique heritage that makes Scotch whisky so well-loved.”
Mr Stevenson continued:
“This was a timely visit for the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the wake of the milestone Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and South Korea which came into force on 1 July. Scotch whisky is expected to reap huge benefits from the removal of Korea’s 20% import tariff on spirits.
“My colleagues were keen to see how one of the EU’s premier spirits industries is investing and adapting to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the FTA, which provides crucial protection for products with ‘geographical indications’. The next step is a potentially massive FTA between the EU and India.”
Ian Smith, Corporate Relations Manager for Diageo in Scotland, commented:
“Members of the European Parliament are key stakeholders in the Scotch whisky industry and we were delighted to have the opportunity to show Struan and his colleagues around our distilleries and particularly to showcase the efforts we are making to reduce our impact on the environment, whilst also contributing to the growth of Scotch whisky.”
1. Struan Stevenson is a Conservative MEP for Scotland
2. The delegation, included Mr Stevenson, Gabriele Albertini MEP (Italy), chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, Astrid Lulling MEP (Luxembourg), chair of the Wine Intergroup and Sir Robert Atkins MEP (North East England), member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament and former UK environment minister.
3. They also visited Cragganmore Distillery in Speyside to see the distinct contrast between one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries producing fine single malts and the very latest technology in action at Roseisle, also producing high quality single malt for use in the company’s blended whiskies such as Johnnie Walker.
4. For further information, please contact Peter Smyth on email@example.com, 0131 554 1146 or 07766 166 637.