Greene King backs minimum pricing

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pub operator greene, Greene king, Minimum pricing, Terry leahy, Tesco, Price

Anand: minimum pricing should be explored
Anand: minimum pricing should be explored
Suffolk brewer and pub operator Greene King has come out in favour of a minimum price on alcohol. The Coalition announced last week that it would...

Suffolk brewer and pub operator Greene King has come out in favour of a minimum price on alcohol.

The Coalition announced last week that it would seek to ban below cost sales of alcohol in supermarkets.

"Excessive drinking by a minority of alcohol consumers is fuelled by its availability at heavily discounted prices, particularly high strength alcohol products and lager brands brought off-trade," said Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand.

"Changing alcohol taxation may go some way to addressing some of these issues, but we would urge the government to explore further the minimum pricing route, which, if targeted at appropriate products, would ensure that the pensioner enjoying a glass of sherry would not be penalised, nor lovers of ale who want to enjoy a pint or two in their local or in the comfort of their own homes.

"We need to ensure a level playing field for all who sell alcohol. Responsible retailers should have nothing to fear."

Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, also said he was in favour of a ban on below cost sales and possibly minimum pricing but that the Government would have to legislate to get around competition rules on price fixing.

"We don't know the level at which price encourages problem drinking, so any pricing controls will have to be carefully debated to make sure they are effective and proportionate," said Leahy in the Daily Telegraph​.

"Otherwise the vast majority of consumers who drink responsibly could end up paying higher prices for no good reason."

However, Tesco also came under fire for backing minimum pricing as it launched a buy-two-packs-for-£16 deal on eight brands — Stella Artois, Carling, Becks, Boddingtons, Brahma, Carlsberg, Strongbow and Guinness — ahead of the World Cup.

Related topics: Legislation, Greene King

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