Industry standards group appoints new Chair

The Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG), the retailer body which developed Challenge 25 and Community Alcohol Partnerships, has appointed Hardish Purewal, Tesco’s Licensing Manager, as its new Chair.

The appointment was agreed to by RASG at its meeting on 22 July 2014, following the announcement by Nick Grant of Sainsbury’s that he would be stepping down as Chair after nine years at the helm.

Established in 2005 and supported by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, RASG is an unprecedented example of retailers working together to tackle underage sales of alcohol and promote the responsible alcohol retailing. The Group initially developed Challenge 21, which was expanded to Challenge 25 in 2009, and established Community Alcohol Partnerships, which is now a standalone community interest company. More recently, RASG has broadened its scope following agreement to develop a responsible retailing code for the off-trade as part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal.

Outgoing RASG Chair Nick Grant said:

“It has been a privilege to Chair the group from its inception and I am proud of the achievements we have made in developing Challenge 25 and Community Alcohol Partnerships. These schemes have had, and are continuing to have, a real impact in reducing underage sales of alcohol. The unprecedented collaboration by RASG members is a great example of what can be achieved by working together to tackle alcohol-related harm.”

Incoming RASG Chair Hardish Purewal said:

“We are incredibly thankful to Nick for his leadership over the last nine years and I am delighted to have been appointed to this role at such an important time for RASG. Producing meaningful guidance on the responsible retailing of alcohol, as part of the Responsibility Deal, will be a key focus over the coming months and I relish the opportunity of working closely with retailers and others to help deliver this important commitment.”

Notes to Editors:

About Hardish Purewal:

Hardish has 22 years of retail experience covering a number of areas including stores, distribution, dot com and legal. Since 2005 Hardish has been Tesco’s Licensing Manager. This includes enforcement, policy, authority engagement and responsibility for the training of over 250,000 staff in selling alcohol responsibly.

About RASG:

The Retail of Alcohol Standards Group is supported by the WSTA and is comprised of the major UK retailers and representatives of smaller independent convenience stores. RASG’s focus is on preventing underage sales of alcohol and promoting high standards amongst alcohol retailers. RASG developed and maintains Challenge 25 and created Community Alcohol Partnerships. The group works on all licensing-related issues and serves as a forum to share best practice and develop new policies in relation to the responsible retailing of alcohol.

About the WSTA:

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirits industry representing over 340 companies producing, importing, exporting, transporting and selling wines and spirits. We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

About CAP:

Community Alcohol Partnerships bring together local retailers & licensees, trading standards, police, health services, education providers and other local stakeholders to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.

About Challenge 25

Challenge 25 is the retail-led initiative designed to ensure anyone who looks under the age of 25 carries acceptable forms of ID when purchasing alcohol. 

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