Drinks firms asked for labelling updates

By John Harrington, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Portman group, The portman group

Portman Group asks for annual updates
Portman Group asks for annual updates
Drinks companies will be asked to give annual updates on how they have complied with alcohol labelling commitments made with the Government. The...

Drinks companies will be asked to give annual updates on how they have complied with alcohol labelling commitments made with the Government.

The Portman Group, which is to monitor the labelling commitments made under the Responsibility Deal, is to contact each drinks producer in autumn 2012 and 2013 to ask for an update on how they have compiled with the requests, it has revealed.

The Deal requires companies to state alcohol unit content, a warning not to drink when pregnant and consumption guidance from the chief medial officer, on drinks labels. Two other optional requirements are that they carry the Drinkaware web address and include a responsible drinking statement.

The Portman Group also revealed that it has agreed to commission and fund an in-store survey to measure the industry's commitment to achieve 80% compliance for products sold in the off-trade by December 2013.

An independent contractor will conduct the survey. They are to be given a brief, agreed with the Department of Health, no later than the third quarter of 2013. Products will be examined no later than January 2014.

The Department of Health can appeal if it believes commitment have not been met for particular products.

Portman Group is to write to drinks firms this month to remind them of the commitments, which were made in March 2011.

Challenging target

"The alcohol industry is firmly committed to providing consumers with information on labels which help them make informed drinking choices," said Seymour Fortescue, chairman of the Portman Group.

"This will be a challenging target but one that we are determined will be achieved. We will publish details of the pledges, companies and brands involved on our website to ensure the process is as open and transparent as possible. We will also appoint an independent third party to conduct the final monitoring exercise.

"The Portman Group will offer an advisory service for companies to check they have all the right elements in place and to offer guidance where needed. We are also encouraging any companies that have not yet signed up to the Responsibility Deal to consider doing so as we can incorporate new pledges on the database as we move forward."

Alcohol labelling is just one industry commitment made as part of the series of Responsibility Deals on public health agreed with the Government. They are seen as a way to fend off legislation by voluntary action.

Related topics: Legislation

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