Beijing, Apr.11 (ANI): Fake Scotch has entered China, prompting the authorities in Biejing and Edinburgh to discuss the issue and reach an agreement to take action against purveyors of this imitation.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and representatives of the Scotch Whisky Association have asked for Scotch whisky to be given special geographic protection in China. This would prevent manufacturers from selling whisky that was not made in Scotland as Scotch.
Salmond said afterwards he was hopeful that substantial progress would be made on this issue by the end of the year.
The Scotch Whisky Association has been campaigning for increased protection in China for some time. The whisky market for Scotch is worth 44 million pounds a year to Scottish distillers and it is one of the fastest-growing in the world.
However, the number of imitation Scotch brands circulating in China has alarmed producers. About 200 fake products have been found in the past two years alone.
The SWA applied for Geographical Indication of Origin status in 2007, which would require all products labelled as Scotch whisky to have come from Scotland and although some progress has been made since then, it has never been agreed by the Chinese government.
Yesterday, Salmond joined the fight against imitation Scotch whisky by asking for help from Wang Yong, the minister for quality supervision. (ANI)