UK pubs to serve weaker drinks

The UK drinks industry has agreed a new package of pledges to help tackle the country’s estimated £21 billion annual cost of alcohol-related damage.

wineBuilding on the existing Responsibility Deal, the six new pledges agreed in consultation with the government and industry representatives include a promise to increase the availability of house wines with an abv below 12.5%, as well as listings of lower alcohol or alcohol-free beer in the on-trade.

Other measures will see the creation of local alcohol partnership schemes to combat antisocial behaviour, a commitment to train 10,000 staff by 2016 in responsible alcohol retailing, ensuring that canned carbonated products contain no more than 4 units of alcohol, implementing good practice guidance for responsible alcohol retailing in the off-trade, and a £250,000 investment to fund new school education programmes.

The government welcomed the new measures, with UK Home Secretary Theresa May saying: “Alcohol-fuelled harm costs taxpayers £21 billion a year. It is therefore right that the alcohol industry is taking action to help reduce this burden, without penalising those that drink responsibly.

“The government welcomes the progress the alcohol industry has made so far in responding to the challenge we set them. We now look forward to seeing the positive impact of these pledges and continuing to work with industry to explore what else can be done to tackle alcohol abuse.”

Acknowledging recent progress made in this area, Minister for Public Health Jane Ellison confirmed that the drinks industry had already met an earlier target by achieving 79.3% on its pledge to feature important health information on 80% of labels on shelf by the end of 2013.

WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale described efforts to tackle alcohol related harm as “a key priority” for the drinks industry as he hailed “an unprecedented level of co-operation between retailers” in developing these latest commitments.

“We are pleased that WSTA members have taken a leading role in developing a further set of practical measures designed to tackle the complex problem of alcohol misuse in the UK,” he commented. “These exciting pledges show that by working with industry the government can achieve a great deal as we continue to build a culture of more responsible drinking in the UK.”

Other representatives from the drinks industry offered their support for the pledges and welcomed the government’s recognition of progress being made.

Henry Ashworth, chair of the Responsibility Deal Alcohol Network said: “UK drinks producers and retailers have a strong track record in delivering programmes of voluntary activity to support government in tackling anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol misuse.

“As responsible businesses, we are determined to play our part and have set out a whole new programme of voluntary actions in response to the challenge set by the government. Working in partnership with business is a great way to get positive change happening quickly in towns and cities throughout the UK.”

Outlining activity planned by the UK’s beer sector, Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association confirmed: “Representing 95% of the brewing industry and around 20,000 pubs, our members will take action to encourage lower alcohol products in pubs, at events and promote through social media.

“Already, there are some great examples from our members to build on. It shows that government support for partnership delivers real results.“

However responses to the voluntary measures have not been universally positive. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Sir Ian Gilmore, adviser to the Royal College of Physicians and chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: “It is frustrating to see the government continually fail to take the action that is needed to effectively tackle increasing alcohol harms in the UK.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

International Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Home based/Wiltshire office, UK

Head of Marketing

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Sales Representative - Private Customers

Corney and Barrow
Central Hong Kong, HK

Export Manager UK On Trade

AdVini
Home based in London or the South East, GB

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 31st January 2018

The Global Organic Masters 2018

Deadline : 12th February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more