The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has released new guidelines for advertising or promoting gin and gin products.

Known as the Labelling of Gin Produced in Ireland, the document summaries what is required to ensure that gin produced in Ireland is labelled correctly, in accordance with legislative requirements.

FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said: “The gin guidance encompasses everything from the use of place names in sales terms; to the listing of allergen information; to the packaging material used and it is hoped that it will help producers in complying with the regulations.

“While gin is defined in the legislation as a ‘juniper-flavoured’ spirit drink produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin with juniper berries, a ‘juniper flavoured spirit drink’ is a separate spirit drink, which is produced by flavouring ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin or grain spirit or grain distillate or a combination thereof with juniper berries.

“The minimum alcoholic strength by volume of a juniper-flavoured spirit drink is 30%, while the minimum alcoholic strength of a gin is 37.5%. Therefore, it is important to remember that these ‘juniper-flavoured spirit drinks’ cannot be labelled as ‘gin’. Similarly, the use of the word ‘distilled’ must be used carefully as prescribed in the guidance, as must geographical descriptors.”

FSAI’s new guidance is said to have been designed to provide greater clarity to the industry and also ensure that products are not mislabelled or marketed in such a way that they mislead consumers.

The Irish regulatory authority has also put in place similar guidance for the labelling of Irish whiskey.

FSAI’s guidance is said to have been released to provide advice to food businesses regarding food law compliance and also safeguard consumers’ health and interests.