What is IFSP?
The International Federation of Spirits Producers Ltd (IFSP) is a UK-registered, not-for-profit company which represents the world’s major international spirits producing companies. IFSP has been in operation since the early 1990s. IFSP’s purpose is to combat the counterfeiting of its members’ distilled spirits brands,. It is currently active in around 30 countries, in Asia, Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Currently, there are 9 members of IFSP: Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Diageo, Edrington Group, Moët Hennessy, Pernod Ricard, Rémy Cointreau and William Grant & Sons.
What IFSP does
In most countries, IFSP contracts a local risk management or private investigation company to carry out an agreed programme of activities. It also has a number of full-time employees, including a Managing Director.
Through these arrangements, IFSP systematically identifies retail outlets where counterfeit spirits are being sold. It also tracks and traces the manufacturers of counterfeit spirits and their criminal associates, including their suppliers of “dry goods” (bottles, caps, labels etc.).
IFSP works closely with local, national and international law enforcement and regulatory agencies by:
- providing training in counterfeit recognition
- sharing information about counterfeiting activities
- supporting these agencies during inspections of wholesale and retail premises and raids of counterfeit manufacturing and storage sites
- formally identifying counterfeit products (the IFSP teams are specially trained and have been duly authorized by the brand owners), and assisting with the detection and prosecution of offenders
Raising Awareness of Spirits Counterfeiting
Raising awareness of the scourge of counterfeit spirits and the help that IFSP can provide forms a vital part of IFSP’s work. IFSP runs or participates in hundreds of training events every year, from international, multi-agency seminars to local, hands-on training in counterfeit recognition.
As the single point of contact for its members on all spirits counterfeiting issues, IFSP makes it as straightforward and efficient as possible for law enforcement and regulatory agencies to seek expert advice and assistance.