4-consulting was commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) to undertake a study of the contribution that Scotch Whisky has made to Scotland’s economy.
The 1960s and 1970s represented a golden age for the Scotch Whisky industry. By 1972 the industry accounted for just over 20,000 jobs across Scotland, generated value added of £84 million (GVA) and exports of £228 million. At its peak, Scotch Whisky supported nearly 100,000 jobs directly within the industry and through its supply chains across Scotland.
Today, the total economic impact of Scotch Whisky on Scotland’s economy is nearly £4.2 billion supporting around 36,000 jobs in the industry and supply chain. Productivity has accelerated to previously unseen levels, this year (2012) the GVA per worker was conservatively estimated to be £275,000.
It is difficult to identify other drinks industries in Europe, or elsewhere, that have developed products as high value as Scotch Whisky. Significant capital investment and the reopening of previously mothballed distilleries suggests Scotch Whisky will play an even greater role in Scotland’s economy in the future, especially as its growth markets are focused on the high growth economies of the world.