A leading Aberdeenshire Councillor has welcomed news that the slowdown in some international markets has not dented Scotch whisky exports. The Scotch Whisky Association has reported exports rises of 12% to a record £4.2 billion.
“The whisky industry is important to Aberdeenshire not only because it employs local people but also is part of our image. It underpins much of our tourism and lifestlye that gives the north east an economic resiliance” said Cllr Paul Johnston, leader of the Democratic Independent and Green group on Aberdeenshire Council.
“We can achieve these increases despite exports to major top five markets in France and Spain slumping by 14% and 24% respectively; this clearly means the industry has major resiliance in developing new markets such as Venezuela and gaining growth across other economies such as the USA or the Baltic states to more than make up the difference.” said Paul.
The Oldmeldrum and Mid-Formrtine Councillor has been a a strong supporter of the Scotch Malt Whisky industry having worked for a subsiduary of former major distilling giant Seagram. Paul Johnston has been a strong supporter of the now rejunavated and award winning distillery of Glen Garioch in the town centre of Oldmeldrum and in the past has campiagned for it’s retention and expansion at different economic times.
“Glen Garioch recently welcomed the whole of the local community to a hugely successful open day celebtation in the distillery. It was not just a great day for Scotland’s last town centre distillery but also underlined the growing success of Glen Garioch, winning awards and joining the elite of Scotland’s malt whisky industry.” Said the Councillor.
Glen Garioch is part of Morrison Bowmore distillers owned by international drinks giant, Suntory who are leading exporter of world leading brands such as Bowmore Islay malt as well as Auchentoshan lowland malt. Councillor Johnston hopes that the continuing export success of malt whisky will be reflected in further successes for Glen Garioch.