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Counterfeiting initiative

Software code to tackle whisky fakes

Alex Bruce
Alex Bruce

A whisky distillery and a technology firm have formed a pioneering partnership to help safeguard the industry against counterfeiting.

Every bottle from the Ardnamurchan Distillery will carry a code storing its unique story from the field in which the barley was farmed, to who bottled it and when.

Using software developed by arc-net, which operates out of Edinburgh and Belfast, it is being seen as a means of combating an ongoing battle with producers of fake whisky.

It aims to give whisky importers and collectors certainty in what they are purchasing.

Ardnamurchan Distillery
Ardnamurchan Distillery

Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi, which owns and operates the Ardnamurchan Distillery, said arc-net’s innovation would be piloted on the distilllery’s new 2017AD spirit.

“By simply scanning a bottle on their phone, customers will be able to find out unrivalled detail about their spirit.

“Every detail of each bottle’s story will be recorded, from when it was made to where it was exported, and much more.

“Story-telling and authenticity are major components of the Scotch whisky industry. By pioneering this technology, Adelphi is both advancing and uniting these vital ingredients.”

Fraud and counterfeit substitutions are becoming an increasing problem in the £5.5 billion whisky market.

Kieran Kelly, CEO of arc-net, said: “Alex and his team are pushing the envelope of spirit and whisky production in terms of quality and traceability, and also demonstrating a realistic and pioneering approach to renewable energy and sustainability, and arc-net are delighted to be a part of their brand story.”

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink said: “Scotland’s brand is growing globally and we must work hard to tell our story and, crucially, protect it too.”

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