The support of the bodies, which between them represent more than 25,000 licensed outlets across the UK, serves to underline the growing importance of wine and spirit sales to these outlets, and the significant part they play in supporting a thriving hospitality industry.
Earlier this month, the PMA revealed figures showing that these categories now account for almost half of the value of all drinks sales in new on-trade openings. In pub closures, wine and spirits accounted for a comparatively much lower 35%.
BII chief executive Tim Hulme said: “The Government needs to take supporting our sector seriously by acknowledging the vital part that wine and spirits play in enabling existing pubs and restaurants to remain viable and, crucially, new ones to open and thrive.”.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pubs, clubs and bars in particular have had to adapt over recent years in order to try and react to changes in the UK economy and this is reflected in increased food, wine and spirit sales. Yet, the sky-high levels of taxation on eating and drinking out are currently holding the sector back and contributing to the tough environment in which they are operating.”
The campaign is spearheaded jointly by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association and Scotch Whisky Association. PMA readers can get involved by visiting www.droptheduty.co.uk.
One publican supporting the campaign is current BII Licensee of the Year Lee Price, who manages the Royal Pier in Aberystwyth, mid Wales.
He added: “Without doubt, a cut in duty will help the languishing licensee deliver the sort of guest experience that will reverse the decline in on-trade sales, and ensure UK pubs rightly remain at the heart of every community countrywide.”