Alcohol consumption ‘continues to fall’

Alcohol consumption dropped 6% in 2009 and took the UK below the EU average in relations to alcohol consumption per head; nearly a third below the Czech Republic which tops the list.

However although there has been a steady downward trend over the last 5 years, it is also evident that alcohol consumption is up over 50% in the last 50 years and is still above the levels seen during any year in the last century; pre 2000.

But much as this report will not please the medical lobby campaigning for a significantly bigger reduction in alcohol consumption levels, it must be seen as an encouraging start for the drive towards the responsible alcohol retailing objectives.

The other statistic which make interesting reading, is the contribution to the treasury which alcohol makes; £14.6 billion. This could be seen as a difficult balancing act for the government, trying not to lose tax revenue, while promoting the sensible drinking message. The argument will be that reduction in alcohol consumption will reduce alcohol related crime and health issues, which in-turn will deliver significant cost savings.

This should in-turn encourage the focus to be on the real causes of alcohol related health issues and alcohol related crime, not on punishing all; including those who seek to promote responsible alcohol retailing.

The emphasis must be on education of retailers and customers alike. It never ceases to amaze us how many people are unaware of their responsibilities and the actual harm caused by alcohol, most jump at the opportunity to take steps to retail more responsibly once they have been given the building blocks to do so.

They quickly find that responsible alcohol retailing can actually deliver higher margins in their business; talk about win-win…


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Source – / British Beer & Pub Association 

Date – 3rd September 2010

Submitted by – Peter Mayhew