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Alcohol strategy consultation – British Beer & Pub Association comments


Commenting on today’s alcohol strategy consultation, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“It is good that the Government acknowledges that sensible, responsible drinking supports pubs as part of our community fabric. I hope that the policies emerging from this review will reflect that - any review of the Mandatory Code should not result in new onerous legislation or regulation for pubs. We do however welcome further clarification on the ban on promotions, to give greater clarity.

“There are positive signs in the Government’s approach to reducing the red tape burden. I welcome the decision to consult on the current requirement to advertise licensing applications in a newspaper. This is a proposal which is costly and unnecessary and something which the BBPA has taken a lead to remove. We are also pleased that extending the number of Temporary Events Notices per premises is being considered.

“On multi-buy promotions, this would affect beer more than any other drinks as beer is the most common type of drink sold in this way. However, if the Government is seeking to introduce minimum pricing, it is difficult to see why they feel the need for this.

“On minimum pricing, there are differing views on its potential role in tackling alcohol-related harm. We strongly believe that alcohol should be priced in a way that is socially responsible, but there are concerns that minimum pricing would penalise a sensible majority of people who drink in moderation. The BBPA has always supported a ban on below-cost selling, and we would have been happy to work with the Government in looking at ways to achieve this.

“Alongside our member companies, we are working with the Government to tackle alcohol misuse, and raise alcohol awareness. While we can and will do more, we have a good track record. For beer, over 90 per cent of bottled or canned products already have unit information on the packaging. From 2013, these will display not just alcohol unit labelling, but also the Government’s lower-risk drinking guidelines and a pregnancy warning.

“The BBPA and Drinkaware have also worked together on a customer unit awareness campaign for pubs. Posters and other materials were launched last year, are available on our website, and are working their way to pubs. BBPA members are also involved in a huge range of initiatives and pledges under the Government’s Responsibility Deal.”

Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own half of Britain’s 51,000 pubs.


Corporate Social Responsibility, Regulation, Pubs, Brewing, Responsiblity Deal , Licensing , Alcohol policy

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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