Distillers deny vast majority of grain used to make Irish whiskey is imported

File photo. Pic: REUTERS/Mike Sturk
File photo. Pic: REUTERS/Mike Sturk
Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) has disputed claims that the bulk of grain used to make Irish whiskey is imported.

The whiskey sector is a multi-billion-dollar industry that produces more than 370m litres of the spirit a year; this equates to a need for around 350,000t of  grain. 

Grain industry sources claim that Irish farmers are contracted to supply less than a quarter of this grain. Much of the imported grain is maize from France.

The IWA stated: "The majority of malt and grain used by Irish distilleries is Irish." When presented with grain import figures, another statement read: "The IWA do not accept these figures as being accurate. 

"We have no further comment to make right now and our previous statement still stands." Meanwhile, the Irish Grain-growers Group (IGG) is calling for a new logo for food, drink and animal feed producers that use only Irish cereals. 

The IGG said more than 7m tonnes of cereals was imported into Ireland last year for food and animal feed production.

Read also: Darragh McCullough: Distillers have big questions to answer on role of grain imports in the great 'Irish' whiskey boom

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