Drinks industry bodies link up to preserve 'authentic' Scottish whiskies
Two drinks industry bodies have joined forces to better protect "authentic" Scottish whiskies.
The Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) and Scotland Food and Drink have formed a new alliance, which they say signifies the growth potential of the distilling sector.
Members of SCDA will now automatically become members of the Government-backed organisation, which aims to boost the food and drink industry by £30 billion by 2030.
Professor Alan Wolstenholme, chairman of the SCDA, said: "On behalf of the SCDA's committee, I am delighted to have joined forces with Scotland Food and Drink.
"This alliance will allow us to continue the work that the SCDA has started on protecting the Scottish brand for distillers across the country.
"Ultimately, we are run by our members for our members and with the support of the Scotland Food and Drink team, we are working on a plan to maximise opportunities for the sector."
Established in 2014, the SCDA works to support its members through collaborative promotion and sharing of production solutions.
Businesses must meet a strict criteria to be part of the association and receive accreditation.
This includes distillers having to own and operate a still as well as manufacture and bottle in Scotland.
These rules are in place to "protect Scottish craft distillers" from those who "use Scotland's provenance and heritage" to sell their products but are manufacturing elsewhere.
Rachel Athey, director of Scotland Food and Drink, said: "The Scottish food and drink sector is thriving and due to this success, more and more businesses are capitalising on Scotland's brand.
"The public show no signs of growing tired of spirits, in particular gin, so it is important that we protect the producers who work hard to produce an authentic product.
"Our new alliance with the SCDA means that members now automatically become members of Scotland Food & Drink.
"This gives distillers access to Scotland Food and Drink's experts with the additional benefit of specific sector insight, activity and priorities."