Spirits producers and organizations from around the world joined forces today in Geneva for the formal creation of the World Spirits Alliance (WSA).
This new group is an international trade association dedicated to representing the views and interests of the spirits sector at the international level.
Following years of successful cooperation, members decided to set up a dedicated, formal organization to act as the common global voice for the distilled spirits sector. WSA will act as a representative partner and interlocutor before international organization such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN).
WSA in a release says that it will pursue the elimination of tariff, non-tariff barriers, and discriminatory taxes, while promoting fair, transparent and evidence-based regulations, adequate excise tax structures, proportionate evidence-based public health measures for distilled spirits and strategies to combat illicit alcohol.
“The aims of the WSA are to create a common platform for exchange and have a representative body that will allow us to comment on issues of global relevance, particularly in the areas of trade and regulatory policy, and help develop a positive environment for the sustainable success of the sector,” says Rodolfo González González, of Camara Nacional de la Industria Tequilera, who was elected as the first president of the WSA.
Members represent a wide range of products such as Baiju from China, Tequila from Mexico, Brazilian Cachaça, Indian IMFL, Cognac and internationally traded whiskies like Scotch, Irish Whiskey and American bourbon.
“In many markets around the world, distilled spirits are heavily taxed and regulated, and we face trade barriers that are only applicable, or applied more excessively, to distilled spirits.This situation needs to be reviewed and addressed,” says Amrit Kiran Singh, of the International Spirits & Wines Association of India, who was elected vice president.
WSA and its members are committed to responsible production, advertising and marketing practices and to encouraging adults who choose to consume spirits, to do so responsibly and in moderation.