Irish whiskey secures geographic indication (GI) status in India, indicating that only spirits made in Ireland can use ‘Irish whiskey’ on their product labels.

The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) believes that the GI status would support the growth of Irish whiskey in the Indian market.

IWA and Drinks Ireland legal advisor Carleen Madigan said: “Securing the geographical indication for Irish whiskey in India is another landmark for the Irish whiskey category.

“Like similar registrations achieved earlier in the year in Australia and South Africa, this is another major success in our efforts to protect the integrity of Irish whiskey on a worldwide basis.”

India is one of the primary markets for whiskey worldwide.

Madigan added: “We will now be able to take much tougher enforcement action against fake Irish whiskey products on sale in India.”

Furthermore, the protection will enable IWA to maximise opportunities in a bid to increase sales in the crucial whiskey market.

Irish whiskey secured GI approval from the European Commission in April, along with Irish cream and Irish poitín.

In June, IWA announced that Irish whiskey exports are set to double to 12 million cases by 2020.

Distilleries in Northern Ireland are contributing to the growth of the market, which is one of the fastest-growing in the spirit category.

According to the Department of International Trade (DIT), exports from ports such as Belfast, Londonderry, Warrenpoint and Coleraine to non-EU countries were worth £25.6m last year.