In a world where talk of tariffs and international trade wars make the front page news almost daily, the world’s whiskey makers are getting together to try to do something about it. There’s no collusion here, just a gathering of like minded whiskey makers that want to make sure their friendly spirits can continue to flow and grow around the world.
The world’s eight leading whiskey associations will gather at the Frazier History Museum along Louisville, Kentucky’s ‘Whiskey Row’ on July 25 and 26, 2018 in a historic summit to discuss trade issues that threaten the growth of this iconic, international industry.
W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit
The gathering that has been dubbed the ‘W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit’ is being hosted and coordinated by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a non-profit trade group founded in 1880 as the Kentucky’s voice for Bourbon and distilled spirits issues.
Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said this first-ever gathering of the world’s whiskey associations will serve as an open exchange of ideas, strategy and a shared commitment to preserving free and fair trade. “Now more than ever, our groups need to be communicating directly and, hopefully, speaking with a unified voice.”
The Potential for Long-Term Damage to the Spirits Industry is Real
“The global whiskey industry has been enjoying an unprecedented level of success to the benefit of our legendary producers, consumers, countries and local communities,” said Gregory. “It’s critical that we maintain this momentum and ensure that world leaders understand the deep economic impact of whiskey and how it will be affected if this unfortunate trade war escalates or continues to extend. The potential for long-term damage is real.”
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Participating trade associations at the inaugural ‘W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit’ will include:
- Distilled Spirits Council
- Irish Whiskey & Spirits Associations
- Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Producers Makers Association
- Kentucky Distillers’ Association
- Scotch Whisky Association
- Spirits Canada
- The President’s Forum
At the end of this first summit, the group is planting a ceremonial white oak tree outside the Frazier History Museum. Starting in August, the museum is expected to host a ribbon cutting making it the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center.™
Kentucky Bourbon is one of Kentucky’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.5 billion economic engine that generates as many as 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million and pours $825 million into tax coffers each year. In addition, the industry is in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon.