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Public Health Responsibility Deal - drinks industry delivers two years early on ‘billion unit pledge’


Britain's brewers have made a huge contribution in delivering reductions in total UK units of alcohol, under the Government’s ‘billion-unit pledge’, it has been revealed today.

A new report on progress released today by the Department of Health shows that the billion unit target has already been exceeded. The total one billion unit target, due to be delivered by the end of 2015, has already been met with 1.3 billion units of alcohol removed, with beer delivering an impressive 1.2 billion of the total.

Says the report summary:

“The reduction in the number of units between 2011 and 2013 has mainly been achieved by reductions in the average strength of beer, which has reduced from 4.42% in 2011 to 4.14% in 2013. This accounted for 1.2 billion of the 1.3 billion total reduction.”

"Our brewers have made a fantastic contribution in delivering the pledge in two ways," says Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive. “They have adjusted the strengths of certain products, and have brought new, innovative, great-tasting lower strength products to consumers.

"We are seeing increasing interest from consumers in lower strength beers, and innovation in the tax system, with the Chancellor's fifty per cent beer duty discount for beers below 2.8 per cent in strength, has also created an incentive, showing the benefits to be gained by encouraging both producers and consumers with lower taxes for lower-strength drinks like beer."

The BBPA and its members are also taking action under a further, specific pledge, launched in July 2014, to reduce total alcohol units in the on-trade (pubs hotels and restaurants), through initiatives such as stocking and promoting lower strength options, or offering lower strength house wines.

Notes to editors:

Department of Health – units of alcohol sold – second interim monitoring report

BBPA News release (8 July 2014) Public Health Responsibility Deal - more success for partnership working with new on-trade commitment to help deliver alcohol unit-reduction

The British Beer & Pub Association is the leading body representing Britain’s brewers and pub companies. The Association is more than a century old and was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904. Our members account for some 90 per cent of beer brewed in Britain today, and own around 20,000 of the nation’s pubs.


For further information contact:

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

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