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WSTA response to Government report on labelling

15 February 2010

WSTA response to Government report on labelling.

Responding to the publication today of a survey of industry compliance with a voluntary agreement for inclusion of sensible drinking messages on alcohol product labels, WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said:

"There is no doubt that the figures from the Campden survey are disappointing but they are also rather surprising given our own research conducted more recently.

"We have analysed* three times as many products at two major supermarket outlets and they show significantly higher levels of compliance with all 5 elements of the labelling scheme. Over 50% of our sample is using the Pregnancy logo for example.

"What's more in the last few months several major companies have signed up to the voluntary scheme. 

"We urge all companies in the sector to do this voluntarily. It is clearly in their interests to do this rather than face further labelling legislation."

Ends


Notes to Editors:

*WSTA Survey*, July 2009

" 2 major supermarkets
" 1,543 products
" Sample covered full product range - beers, wines, ciders, spirits, RTDs, aperitifs etc
" Retail staff surveyed under WSTA supervision
" Survey shows:
o Over 50% compliance on 4 out of 5 elements - Pregnancy (55.8%, Total Units per container (62.7%), Sensible Drinking Messages (57.7%) and Drinkaware (52%)
o Over 30% compliance on all 5 elements


The WSTA is the UK lobbying organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 320 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits.
We campaign to promote the industry's interests with governments at home and abroad.
We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.


For more information please contact Gavin Partington:
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7089 3876
Mob:  +44 (0) 7966 014058
Email: [email protected]

 

Gavin Partington

Head of Communications

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association  - One strong voice for the trade

International Wine & Spirit Centre
39-45 Bermondsey Street
LONDON, SE1 3XF
m +44 (0)7966 014058
t +44 (0)20 7089 3876
f +44 (0)20 7089 3870
e [email protected]
www.wsta.co.uk
 
Registered number: 410660 England Limited by Guarantee Any advice is offered by the Association in good faith and whilst every attempt has been made to ensure its accuracy it is to be considered as a general guide only and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association disclaims all liability for any inaccuracies or omissions therein or for any typing errors.  Professional advice should therefore be obtained or reference made to the appropriate source material before taking any decisions or action on any specific matter on the basis of the information given herein. Confidentiality: If you or your organisation are not a named addressee of this e-mail, you must not read the contents, copy them or disclose them to any other person.

 

 


Alcohol what s love got to do with it

Alcohol - what’s love got to do with it?

New research* launched today by alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware reveals more than one in four relationships is marred by alcohol. Over a quarter (26%) of GB adults, equivalent of nearly 12 million people, have argued with a partner because of alcohol and more than one in six (14%) have worried about the effect drinking is having on their relationship.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Drinkaware is challenging people to think about the damaging effect alcohol could be having on their relationship. Whether people are on a night out, at a local pub, having dinner with friends or on the sofa in front of the TV, drinking to excess can cause unnecessary arguments, encourage irrational and unpredictable behaviour, and even exacerbate any existing relationship problems.

The Drinkaware survey of adults across Great Britain also shows that one in 10 (9%) endure current or previous partners flirting with other people, while more than one in 10 (11%) have suffered embarrassment when a current or previous partner has had too many to drink.

To avoid the pitfalls of drink-related relationship problems, Drinkaware provides the following tips:

  • ·  Talk before. If you experience problems when one or both of you drink, agree a strategy as a couple before you start having any alcohol. You might suggest putting a limit on what you drink or agree to enjoy alcohol-free drinks together. It’s better to plan ahead so you can avoid having to deal with issues at the time.
  • · Men vs. women. Men are less susceptible to the effects of alcohol than women – if your partner is matching you drink for drink; she’s likely to feel affected, more quickly.
  • ·  Try cutting down. It may sound simple, but if you’re not drinking as much, you’re less likely to argue because of alcohol. Alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks and opting out of rounds helps to reduce your alcohol intake.
  • ·   Eat. Food slows down the rate your body absorbs alcohol. So if you do choose to drink, make sure you have a meal beforehand.
  • ·   Still a problem? If you’ve tried everything but you’re still regularly clashing with your partner over alcohol you might want to consider getting some advice. ‘Relate’ provide relationship counselling and can help with alcohol-related issues.

Jonathan Chick, a Consultant Psychiatrist and a member of Drinkaware’s medical advisory panel, says:

“Lots of things influence our relationships and alcohol is no exception. While many couples enjoy a drink together, for some alcohol can spoil the evening. You don’t have to be an alcoholic for alcohol to damage your love life. People should think about the role alcohol plays in their relationship - they might see that it’s causing more tension than tenderness.

“Alcohol can make us impulsive or uninhibited and this can unintentionally hurt our relationships. People who get drunk may behave inappropriately, say something upsetting that they don’t really mean, or become argumentative. These situations often get worse when both partners are drinking and when you go to bed with bad feelings, altercations can carry over into the next day.

“If a couple is going through a bad patch, drinking can be the final nail in the coffin – so it’s best to avoid drinking if you’re stressed, feeling sorry for yourself or disgruntled with your partner. Alcohol has a canny way of making all these emotions much worse.”

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, says:

“Our research shows that, for many couples, alcohol can cause or exacerbate problems in their relationship. Valentine’s Day is an ideal opportunity to highlight the impact alcohol can have on couples because the day is all about celebrating your relationship and putting your loved one first.

“Whether you’ve fallen into a pattern of always having a tiff because your partner has been sick, because you’ve been over-friendly with someone else, or because one of you falls asleep on the sofa, it’s important to asses whether drinking is worth the alcohol-related arguments. Relationships are an important aspect of anyone’s life, why ruin it with alcohol?

“February is ‘Love Month’ on the Drinkaware website so for more tips and advice on relationships and alcohol visit: www.drinkaware.co.uk

-Ends-

CASE STUDY AVAILABLE

 

For more information please contact:

Becky Medhurst

Communications Officer
020 7307 7453 or 078 2797 1740

[email protected]

 

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from ICM.  Total sample size was 2009 nationally representative of adults in Great Britain aged 18+. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th and 27th September 2009.  The survey was carried out online.

  • ·            Drinkaware (www.drinkaware.co.uk) provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles. Our public education programmes, grants, expert information, and resources help create awareness and effect positive change. An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works with the medical profession, the alcohol industry, government and independent members to achieve its goals.
  • ·         Drinkaware advise men to stay within the recommended guidelines of 3-4 units of alcohol per day (equivalent of a pint and a half of lager) and women to stay within 2-3 units per day (equivalent of a 175ml glass of wine).
  • ·         Other research shows that marriages are twice as likely to end in divorce where there are alcohol problems (Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, 2004) and alcohol had been consumed prior to the offence in nearly three-quarters (73%) of domestic violence cases and was a ‘feature’ in almost two-thirds (62%) (Gilchrist et al 2003).

WSTA response to Mandatory Code Proposals

19 January 2010

Responding to today's Mandatory Code Proposals for the sale of alcohol, WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said:

"We've always questioned whether the Mandatory Code would address the real issues associated with alcohol misuse but we share the Government's objective of tackling irresponsible businesses and consumers.

"However, new rules and legislation will achieve little unless there is strict enforcement of existing laws designed to prevent alcohol misuse and associated anti-social behaviour and a policy focus on problem drinkers."

"We need the carrot and the stick. The Campaign for Smarter Drinking, funded by the drinks industry and supported by Government, is challenging the culture of excessive drinking amongst a significant number of young adults.  Let's also ensure the laws in place to tackle alcohol misuse are rigorously enforced.

"In most respects the Code enforces best practice that is already met or exceeded by the vast majority in the trade.

"It makes sense to ask retailers to provide customers with water and a choice of measure size for their drink.

"Retailers led the way by introducing Challenge 21 in 2006 and last year saw the widespread adoption of Challenge 25 as part of our members' commitment to combat underage purchase of alcohol."

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The WSTA is the UK lobbying organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 320 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits.
We campaign to promote the industry's interests with governments at home and abroad.
We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact Gavin Partington:
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7089 3876
Mob:  +44 (0) 7966 014058
Email: [email protected]

 

WSTA comment on ONS alcohol figures

28 January 2010

Commenting on the latest Office for National Statistics figures on alcohol WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said:

“Today’s Government figures confirm the continued fall in overall alcohol consumption in the UK and reflect changing consumer tastes around Europe with more people drinking at home and a preference for drinking alcohol with a meal in a restaurant.

“While we should be concerned by the rise in alcohol related-deaths, it’s important to remember that overall alcohol consumption has been falling now for several years, suggesting Government efforts to combat alcohol misuse should be focused on the minority of people who drink excessively, not the vast majority who enjoy a drink in moderation.”


 
Ends


Notes to Editors:

The WSTA is the UK lobbying organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 320 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits.
We campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad.
We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact Gavin Partington:
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7089 3876
Mob:  +44 (0) 7966 014058
Email: [email protected]

WSTA welcomes Conservative emphasis on personal responsibility

Responding to the Conservative Party’s Green Paper on Public Health, published today, WSTA Chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said:

“We welcome steps to encourage consumers to make informed choices and take responsibility for their own behaviour and the opportunity for businesses to be involved in shaping and implementing agreements around responsible marketing of alcohol products.

“It makes sense to provide information for consumers about alcohol in a way that can easily be related to specific drinks.  Equally, it is clear that standardised labelling would require European wide agreement.
 
“We welcome the Green Paper’s emphasis on local partnership working. Our experience is that Community Alcohol Partnerships bringing together retailers, police and local authorities have a real impact in tackling alcohol misuse.

“We believe that policies to address alcohol misuse are most likely to succeed if they focus on problem drinkers rather than particular products.  Evidence from other countries suggests that higher taxes and prices for certain drinks do not change the behaviour of those who misuse alcohol.”

Ends


Notes to Editors:

The WSTA is the UK lobbying organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 320 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits.
We campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad.
We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact Gavin Partington:
Tel:  +44 (0) 20 7089 3876
Mob:  +44 (0) 7966 014058
Email: [email protected]

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