Trade stories

On this page, we woudl like to share testimonials of trade challenges or trade successes faced by European spirits producers across the world.

Market Access: the case study of Kazakhstan

Christian Porta, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard EMEA

Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Pernod Ricard group has gradually grown to become the world's co-leader in the wines and spirits industry.  It now includes the most comprehensive portfolio of premium brands in the sector. 

Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and promotes responsible drinking.

Trade in a free and fair global environment is essential for the growth of our company

Being able to trade in a free and fair global environment is essential for the growth of our company. It helps to create jobs (more than 18,000 employees worldwide and operates through more than 85 affiliates and 100 production sites).  It helps to also to enlarge our footprint around the world and to boost investment, including opening up new production and distribution facilities in EU countries.

The majority of our key brands are protected by geographical indications, meaning that we cannot, and indeed do not want to, relocate our production to third countries.  It also means that we rely on EU trade policy to open up markets and to address market access barriers.  Thanks to the increasingly important element of EU trade policy, the Market Access Partnership, which brings the European Commission and Member States together with our European association - spiritsEUROPE - we are able to quickly report any barriers we face to enable the EU to start its comprehensive barrier removal strategy.  In recent years, our company enjoyed considerable benefits from the resolution of trade barriers in our export markets.

Market Access case study: A new barrier in Kazakhstan

Intellectual property protection for our wines and spirits products is key to effectively facilitate access to third markets.  For a number of years, Kazakhstan’s courts misinterpreted the applicable principle of regional exhaustion of trademark rights, which prohibits the introduction of goods to the market without the consent of the trademark right holder.  As a legitimate importer we were not able to exert our rights and the legal insecurity was a significant barrier to the development of our business in Kazakhstan, a rapidly growing market for Pernod Ricard. 

Now resolved under the EU's Market Access Partnership

We brought this issue to the EU’s Market Access Advisory Committee, which triggered a robust and coordinated action through the European Commission and Member States, in particular France and the UK, registering their concerns with the Kazakh local authorities on multiple occasions. 

In late 2015, we secured a welcome ruling from the Kazakh Supreme Court, the first ruling whereby a civil action against an un-authorised importer had been successful.  This effectively set a strong precedent for further actions against un-authorised importers and restored foreign investors’ confidence in trademark protection in Kazakhstan.

We will continue to count on the Market Access Strategy

We hope the Commission will continue supporting us in Kazakhstan, particularly taking into account worrying discussions about the legalization of parallel trade in Eurasian Customs Union.


5 generations exporting to Mexico

Cristina Esparza, CEO, Hijos de Pablo Esparza.

The Distillery Hijos de Pablo Esparza located in Navarra (Spain) is a family business founded in 1872.  26 employees produce spirits & liqueurs, some protected by a GI such as the “Pacharán de Navarra”.  Export activities have increased over the 5 generations.  Today, about 10% of our turnover is made outside Europe in the USA, Latin America (Mexico, Panama, Chili, Peru, Ecuador) and in Asia (Taiwan, Japan, Australia).  "Simplifying custom procedures & cutting tariffs would significantly boost our exports.”