Jobs at 13 Moray distilleries could be under threat after the French parent company that owns them announced plans to shed 900 posts in their world-wide operations.
Pernod Ricard, who own the Chivas Regal, Aberlour and Glenlivet whisky brands, say that they will cut 5% of their workforce in efforts to save around £120million.
While the company has confirmed that 100 posts will be lost at their Paris headquarters they are yet to announced where the remaining 800 jobs will be shed.
Pernod Ricard blame anti-extravagance laws in China that cut spirits sales by almost a quarter for the job losses.
The firm’s chief executive, Pierre Pringuet, confirmed the company was going ahead with the ‘Allegro Project’, the name given to their cuts programme.
He said: “We are seriously committed to the Allegro project – this operational efficiency project must enable us to maximise our future growth while generating a hard figure of 150million euro of savings.”
The company is reported to be planning to reinvest a third of savings made into boosting sales of its brands, with new cheaper brands introduced in China to boost sales while it also strives to increase its presence in the United States.
Sales slumped in China after President Xi Jinping started an anti-corruption and extravagance campaign last year. He said he was seeing to clean up the “four forms of decadence – formalism, bereaucratism, hedonism and extravagance”.
In July the CEO of Pernod Ricard’s Chivas operation, Laurent Lacassagne, held talks with Moray’s MP Angus Robertson over the promotion of Speyside as the world’s leading whisky region.
Mr Lacassagne commented at that time: “I said to Angus Robertson that we are very happy to contribute to the development of the region as we are interested in seeing Speyside become an even more attractive destination for visitors to Scotland.”