What follows is a press release, which I am reproducing verbatim. It is relevant to our subject of the last few days. It sounds great but there is already a serious flaw. They claim that acceptance of the code is required of all members, which might be really useful if the group would put its membership list on its web site, ideally linked to the products those member sell. Like Reagan said, "trust, but verify."
Speaking of which, they do have a list of the Association's 'founding' distilleries. It includes yesterday's transparency offender, Cacao Prieto. Since I refuse to write about vodka, someone else will need to call out some of the other 'founders.' It looks like ACSA should have gotten its own house in order before this big release.
A few years ago, the American Distilling Institute (ADI) launched a miserable certification program that landed with a big thud. Many hoped the ACSA would do better. Many still hope that.
Oh, and you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition or double-space after a period.
The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), the non-profit trade organization that represents America's growing craft distilling community, today unveiled a code of ethics that all members must faithfully adhere to. Developed by the ACSA Ethics Committee under the leadership of chairman Paul Hletko, the code states the following:
ACSA Code of Ethics
"We operate in an honest, transparent and non-deceptive fashion. We inform consumers truthfully and accurately about the sources and methods used to make our spirits through our labels, materials and communications. We expect fair dealing and respect amongst members. We obey all federal, state, and local laws."
According to ACSA president Thomas Mooney, "This brief but powerful code of ethics reassures consumers and the spirits trade that our members' products are both honest and authentic. The future of the craft distilling revolution depends on our transparency."
All members of ACSA are now required to sign on to the Code. ACSA Executive Director Penn Jensen further notes that the code creates a "statement of faith upon which the consumer can rely: what's in the bottle is what the distiller says is in the bottle." Jensen adds that "it's the consumer who over the long haul will determine a brand's fate. Ethics and honesty will play a large role in that."
Background Note: In March of this year the newly elected Board of Directors authorized a change in name for the American Craft Distillers Association (ACDA) to the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA). The change was made to include those authentic artisans who are crafting spirits through blending, re-distilling, and contracting with other distillers to build unique new products.