French liquor giant Pernod Ricard has become involved in a dispute with the Polish government over the right to distribute Wyborowa vodka. Pernod claims exclusive international distribution rights for the vodka because of its controlling stake in Polish exporter Agros. In preparation for the privatisation of the vodka industry, the Polish government has declared its intention to repurchase these distribution rights. Pernod argues this move would be against EU law, international trade regulations and even the Polish constitution. With plans to increase exports to London from 200,000 cases a year to two million over the next decade, Pernod is determined to keep hold of the brand. Wyborowa brand has global appeal, explained Pernod's vice chairman Thierry Jacqiullat, citing the company's success with the Havana Club label. "When we started, only 200,000 to 300,000 cases [of Havana Club] were sold outside Cuba," he said. "Now we are close to reaching two million. Why should it be different with Wyborowa?" {{NEWS }}

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