Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) promotes, protects and represents the interests of the whisky industry in Scotland and around the world.



20 Atholl Crescent Edinburgh


0131 222 9200


0131 222 9237

Web Location:

SWA website

Scotch Whisky is iconic. With annual exports in excess of £2bn, Scotch Whisky is one of the UK's leading exports and supports thousands of jobs across the economy. Made only in Scotland, Scotch Whisky is an ambassador for the country overseas and is recognised as being of the highest quality.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is the trade Association for the Scotch Whisky industry. Its members account for more than 95% of production and sales of Scotch Whisky.

The principal functions of the SWA can be summarised as follows:

  • To protect the integrity of Scotch Whisky worldwide
  • To promote responsible attitudes to alcohol consumption
  • To secure fair and equal access to international markets
  • To tackle tax discrimination and secure appropriate regulation of the industry
  • To promote Scotch Whisky as a quality product made from natural raw materials
  • To represent the industry's interests at governmental level both at home and abroad

The SWA can trace its origins back to 1917 when an unincorporated body known as The Whisky Association was founded with its main office in London, and branch offices in Scotland and Ireland. In 1940 the Scottish branch became the principal office.

As The Whisky Association did not fully meet the needs of the Scotch Whisky industry, a new unincorporated Association known as The Scotch Whisky Association was formed on 17 April 1942.

In 1960, The Scotch Whisky Association was incorporated under the Companies Act 1948 (the word 'limited' being omitted by licence of the Board of Trade), enhancing the Association's ability to conduct legal actions around the world.

The Association is governed by a Council of 12 to 16 members, elected at the Annual General Meeting. In its turn, the Council appoints a number of committees to assist it and to advise it on different aspects of its work.

The SWA has two offices, the principal office in Edinburgh and an office in London. The Chief Executive is Gavin Hewitt.

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