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19 October 2001

Macduff Distillery A Worldwide Success Story

Stewart Stevenson MSP says "Water Directives Should Not be Implemented In Scotland"

Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banff and Buchan, visited his local whisky distillery today [Friday, 19th] as a guest of the Macduff Distillery management and of the Scotch Whisky Association. Commenting afterwards, Stewart Stevenson said,

"This was my first visit to a distillery although far from an introduction to this excellent Scottish product. I had not realised that our local Glen Deveron single malt was as large an exporter as to be among the largest brands of malt in the world. The £100 million in duty waiting to be paid to the London Exchequer from one single warehouse in Macduff shows how important we are to the national economy.

"In an age of increasing fears about adulteration of food products, Scotch Whisky stands out as something whose purity is guaranteed. My own small sample certainly bore that out!"

Turning to future threats to the whisky industry, Mr Stevenson added,

"As a large user of water, the whisky industry would, like our local fishing industry, be severely affected by any moves to introduce the EC's Water Directives to Scottish law. The Directive has been introduced primarily to control water use in the European Community in southern countries where it is scarce resource.

"We are permitted to rule that it need not apply in Scotland where the rainfall is more than adequate for our needs. In the case of Macduff Distillery it would be particularly inappropriate since they have their own private water supply.

"I shall now be writing to the Scottish Executive to re-inforce input from a number of quarters about how badly introduction of such measures not designed for Scotland would be for local industries such as whisky and fishing."
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