Rooney Anand - who has been a vocal supporter of minimum pricing - said: “It may not be the only answer, but the industry makes a lot of money from alcohol and we need an intelligent attitude to drinking in this country. The industry needs to grab the agenda or after the smoking ban the direction of travel will be towards alcohol.”
He also raised concern about the price of alcohol in supermarkets.
He said: “The price of alcohol came down in supermarkets and it’s had an irreversible impact on drinking. When most alcohol was consumed in pubs, landlords could tell people how to handle it. Customers could be merry but not drunk.
“That’s all changed over the past 10 to 15 years. Now hospital A&E departments need security guards at weekends. Is this a civilised society?”
Anand will continue to campaign on the subject and will also lobby parliament and make his voice heard on such issues as the current Government consultation over the role of pubcos.
He said Greene King resigned from the British Beer & Pub Association because he felt that producers and retailers didn’t usually sit down at the same table.
“It’s supposed to a beer and pub association and an international spirits group sitting alongside family and regional brewers didn’t seem to fit,” he said. “Not being a member has freed up time and money. And we still meet other partners in the industry.”
Read the full interview with Rooney Anand here.