At an industry meeting held at the Home Office on 7 July, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) committed to helping remove a billion units of alcohol sold annually from the market by the end of 2015.
Under the pledge, the BBPA and its members agreed to undertake one or more of a series of actions and to report on their progress and delivery to BBPA.
For pub owners, actions include:
- Offering a house wine below 12.5 per cent to their tenants/lessees and in their directly managed pubs.
- Actively promoting lower-alcohol products in their pubs and to their tenants/lessees.
- Offering at least one non/lower-alcohol beer to their tenants/lessees and in their directly managed outlets.
- Including at least one non/lower-alcohol beer at every event undertaken on behalf of BBPA.
The BBPA also agreed to organise one event per year aimed at consumer and health media and specifically focused on non and lower-alcohol beers.
Among previous initiatives, BBPA members have agreed to offer and promote their lower-ABV wines through in-house publications and to reduce the strength of both beer and house wines.
The BBPA is also contributing £50,000 over two years through the industry’s grants fund, to a new education pledge.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “It is in everyone’s interest to reduce alcohol-related harm, and responsible brewers and pubs are committed to working with the government to achieve real results.
“This new commitment from the on-trade builds on the positive action already being achieved, with some great examples from our members to build on. It shows that government support for partnership, through initiatives like this, delivers real results.”
Public Health Responsibility Deal
As part of the government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, the government has already introduced a ban on alcohol sold below the level of duty plus VAT, which was welcomed by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) as ‘a step in the right direction’.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Alcohol-fuelled harm costs taxpayers £21bn 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.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt added: “Our Responsibility Deal has made real progress, as the industry is taking one billion units out of the market and has agreed to provide labelling which includes health warnings and unit information.
“The new pledges will help people to drink responsibly and make healthier choices.”