CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) is pleased to announce the launch of the Guiding Principles for Responsible Retailing of Beverage Alcohol at the World Retail Congress - Africa on 3 November 2015.
Motivated by a shared desire to strengthen and expand their long-standing efforts to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, leading global producers of beer, wine, and spirits have signed a series of collective, proactive commitments. These targeted actions, applicable in five key areas, and implemented over a five-year period (2013-2017), aim to:
- Reduce Underage Drinking
- Strengthen and Expand Marketing Codes of Practice
- Provide Consumer Information & Responsible Product Innovation
- Reduce Drinking and Driving
- Enlist the Support of Retailers to Reduce Harmful Drinking
In agreement with public health experts, signatories to these Producers' Commitments believe it is essential to involve retailers in efforts to promote safe drinking environments and prevent harmful use of alcohol, and that working together is more powerful than working alone. The Guiding Principles for Responsible Retailing of Beverage Alcohol were developed in collaboration, to set a standard that both retailers and producers support, and encourage responsible retailing worldwide. Leading retailers have already adopted policies and undertaken measures to promote responsible retailing, and many producers support responsible retailing initiatives such as proof-of-age requirements and server training.
Commenting on the initiative, Ann Keeling, CEO of IARD, explains, "All stakeholders recognize the need to ensure that retailers, as the first point of contact with consumers, are working collaboratively with producers of beverage alcohol to ensure we are contributing to the reduction of alcohol-related harm. These Guiding Principles acknowledge the diversity of the retail sphere and significant differences in retailing practices or establishments internationally, and aim to address common issues and national contexts to continue to promote safe drinking."
The launch program featured an introduction of the Producers' Commitments from Managing Directors of IARD sponsor companies and a presentation of the Responsible Retailing Principles. A panel discussion, featuring representatives from each stakeholder group - government, retailers and retail associations, and alcohol industry representatives - explored the particular, positive contribution each can make to reducing alcohol-related harm.