THE Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has always had a nose for business.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, to learn that it is doggedly taking the fight against fakes to far-flung markets. Scotch has now been trademarked in Australia, the 12th largest overseas market for the industry, with sales worth £84 million last year.

That figure could have been bigger, and it surely will be next year now that this move has been agreed. Since 2005, the SWA has taken action to stop the sale of 40 brands of fake Scotch Down Under. Registration of Scotch whisky as a certification trademark will make it easier to crack down on the fraudsters.

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This is just the latest stage in the long-running campaign to better protect the industry. In 2010, an agreement was reached with China that only whisky produced in Scotland can be marketed as Scotch to Chinese consumers, and in January, Scotch was the first drink to be covered by the Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme, which helps consumers identify genuine products.

The whisky industry is reckoned to be worth £4 billion a year to the Scottish economy. Measures to further enhance its value can only bring good cheer.