spiritsSUMMIT 2021

Opening the Summit, Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEurope, presented a newly published report demonstrating the significant and manifold contributions the spirits sector is making to Europe’s economy and employment sectors. Addressing the pandemic, he pointed to a survey showing that 2 out of every 3 adults polled in ten countries agreed that the social and mental well-being of the general population had suffered as a direct result of the closure of hospitality venues. He highlighted how spiritsEurope remains dedicated to its partners in hospitality and is continuing to campaign for their support through its #WeStandReady campaign.

Ulrich said that for nearly two years, hospitality and tourism have been on life support. Europe’s recovery plans will hopefully breathe new life into the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. They are not yet ready to walk alone and need to know that we will not leave them behind. As part of the resilience and recovery facility, Europe should develop a clear vision for how the sectors can continue to recover.

His contribution was followed by that of Adrian Cummins, the CEO of Restaurants Association of Ireland and Treasurer of HOTREC – Hotels, Restaurants, Bars & Cafés in Europe, who spoke about the various challenges the hospitality faced during the pandemic so far, especially in terms of staffing, their engagement with EU representatives, but also the opportunities that lie ahead, especially when it comes to upskilling initiatives.

All at spiritsEUROPE were delighted to welcome a representative of the European Commission’s DG SANTE, Nathalie Chaze, who provided us with some insights into the EU’s Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices. During her contribution, Ms. Chaze specifically congratulated spiritsEurope for being one of the first signatories of the Code of Conduct and making concrete commitments to its realisation.

Michael Clancy, CTO & Founder of Lough Ree Distillery in Ireland, discussed how his company contributes to local economic growth, its commitment to sustainability and its adoption of the digital consumer information e-Label, emphasising that the e-Label can provide harmonised and consistent information that is available to any consumer anytime, anywhere – and in their own language. spiritsEurope has called for the upcoming revision of the Regulation of Food Information to Consumers (FIC) to incorporate digital consumer information.

The final speaker to take the floor was spiritEurope’s president, Christian Porta. Reviewing his term, Mr Porta underlined how it coincided with the most turbulent times for the spirits industry in living memory. He highlighted how the mental wellbeing of European citizens suffered due to the closure of cafés, bars, and restaurants and how we can now all appreciate how strongly our society needs togetherness and conviviality. He called on the EU and Member State governments to play their part in supporting the hospitality sector and its value chain in the difficult months ahead.

Mr Porta concluded that, to successfully manage the sustainability journey, the spirits industry needs a balanced approach that sets clear targets and ambitions, yet leaves sufficient space for private-sector-led collaboration and competition. He spoke of the fundamental importance of an ambitious EU trade policy for the success of our industry with Free Trade Agreements, strong enforcement and protection from future retaliations.  A spirit of openness, he said, is the key to future success!

Please find attached the final programme and speakers’ biography.

Some pictures of the event: click here (click "guest" and download the pictures you like).

Recording of the Summit: click here 

Spirits Business article: click here 


STAY CONNECTED: Keep up-to-date with spiritsEUROPE’s activities via our Twitter & Newsletter