The SSA’s stated purpose is to promote, protect and represent the interests of the spirits industry in Scotland and around the world, it also promotes responsible drinking, with campaigns to curb drinking to excess.
It was formed on 10 June 2014. The SSA’s members represent over 95% of Scottish Spirits production, which encompasses over 2,500 brands around the world.
The SSA led an unsuccessful challenge to the Scottish government‘s minimum alcohol price policy, enshrined in the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012. The UK’s Supreme Court ruled on 15 November 2017 that the Act was not disproportionate to the stated policy aim of reducing alcohol misuse and overconsumption, and therefore not contrary to EU law.
AchievementsScottish Spirits has been a major industry for decades with exports totalling £4.7 billion in 2018, according to the Association. Whisky tourism is a side-benefit with distilleries being the third most visited attractions in Scotland, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Some 2 million visits were recorded in 2018, a 6.1% increase over 2017 and a 56% increase compared to 2010. Some 68 distilleries operate visitor centres in Scotland and another eight accept visits by appointment. Hotels, restaurants and other facilities also benefit from the millions of pounds spent by tourists. Tourism has been a real plus to the economy, and of significant value especially in remote, rural areas, according to Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs. “The Scottish Government is committed to working with partners like the Scottish Spirits Association to increase our tourism offer and encourage more people to visit our distilleries,” the Secretary added.