BBPA: alcohol code lop-sided in favour of supermarkets

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bbpa chief executive, Alcoholic beverage

Supermarkets: alcohol sold cheaply
Supermarkets: alcohol sold cheaply
The mandatory code on alcohol retailing is "lop-sided and unbalanced" because it does not target the cheap deals available in supermarkets, the...

The mandatory code on alcohol retailing is "lop-sided and unbalanced" because it does not target the cheap deals available in supermarkets, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has warned.

While the BBPA supports action on irresponsible promotions, it slammed the "pub-centric" measures under the code while supermarkets appear to escape.

"We have consistently supported legislation to crack down on irresponsible promotions in pubs and supermarkets," said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

"However, with nearly 70% of all alcohol now sold through supermarkets, the pub-centric measures announced today are lop-sided and unbalanced.

"Pubs are struggling and the country is in recession. This is not the time for the Home Office to be burying business in yet more unnecessary red tape.

"All the powers needed to deal with problem premises already exist. The trouble is poor enforcement of the current laws. Just adding to that pile is unhelpful.

She added: "As a population, we should be encouraging young people to drink in properly supervised premises like pubs. Pubs are at the heart of responsible retailing and are being demonised because this is easy, in terms of legislation.

"What we need are targeted policies which deal with personal responsibility, aimed at the 10% of the population who drink 40% of all alcohol."

ID checks

Simmonds also questioned the need for a legal requirement to ask all those who look under-18 for ID when the industry already runs a successful Challenge-21 policy.

"Challenge 21 was devised and implemented by our industry two years ago and has been operated rigorously since then. Every month, more than one million people are refused service in pubs, either because they have no ID or are underage.

"Ninety per cent of 18-24 year olds say they are aware of the scheme, which clearly shows how widely it is used.

"We might question whether the law should require you to have such a policy, as the fact is that the pub industry already operates such a policy and it has been hugely successful in tackling underage drinking in pubs."

Related topics: Legislation

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