The Scotch Whisky industry generated £7.1 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA) for the UK in 2022 — with £5.3 billion of that generated in Scotland — according to a new report from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
The industry supported 66,000 jobs across the UK and 41,000 in Scotland.
The figures in the SWA report are based an economic impact study conducted by Oxford Economics and the IWSR (International Wines and Spirits Record) on behalf the World Spirits Alliance (WSA).
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the GVA of whisky in 2022 had increased by 29% since 2018.
It said the industry invested £2.1 billion in capital projects between 2018 and 2022 and Scotch whisky accounts for 77% of Scottish food and drink exports and 26% of UK food and drink exports.
Scotch Whisky Association CEO Mark Kent said: “The Scotch Whisky industry has once again proven its economic significance to the UK domestically and on the world stage, and these figures highlight the importance of backing a key sector for productivity, exports and employment.
“The past five years have been turbulent for our sector, as we faced retaliatory tariffs in the United States, in addition to the global pandemic and the knock-on economic pressures.
“The Scotch Whisky industry has remained resilient, with capital investment directed towards fulfilling our collective sustainability ambitions, creating world-class visitor attractions, and building more distilleries that will help boost jobs and growth.
“Ahead of the UK Spring Budget on 6 March and this year’s General Election, it is vital that the industry is supported by government so that businesses can continue to invest in the UK economy.”
However, the industry is now warning that while there is room for further growth, Scotch whisky continues to face multiple barriers.
The SWA said these barriers include the highest spirits duty rate in the G7, key infrastructure in Scotland in need of investment, and trade deals – including with India – still to be finalised.
These challenges combined with rapidly increasing competition from premium spirits in global markets puts future investment, growth and jobs at risk without government support, the SWA said.