The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has released its fourth annual Producers’ Commitments progress report. The Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers’ Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking were launched in 2012 as a five-year plan of commitments. The 2016 report covers the fourth year of activity and includes 9 case studies from around the world. All facts and figures have been externally monitored and evaluated by Accenture Strategy and assurance is provided by KPMG. As far as Europe is concerned, the report focuses on Poland and Spain.
In Poland, a number of initiatives are running to address consumer misperceptions about alcohol beverages and reduce harmful drinking. Strong focus on drink-driving for many years is delivering results with a 55% decrease of alcohol-related road crashes over the last decade. Spirits producers partnered with the NGO MONAR to deliver the “Positive Learning Laboratory,” an intervention to promote healthy lifestyles among young people and deter underage drinking. The programme emphasises the importance of complying with the legal purchase age of 18 in Poland. According to the most recent studies (ESPAD & HBSC), underage drinking in Poland is decreasing, but more needs to be done.
Spain is focusing on the same areas as Poland with great success regarding underage drinking. The Ministry of Health together with a network of 300 town halls and public institutions, 170 celebrities and the spirits producers (FEBE) have joined forces around the campaign, “Not a single drop for minors”. Spain is among the countries with the highest decline in weekly alcohol consumption by 11, 13 and 15 year olds.
Outside Europe, In Australia, Diageo’s Bar Academy training for those working in the hospitality industry incorporates practical Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) elements, which complements the internationally acclaimed “How to Drink Properly” campaign, which is led by DrinkWise Australia, a body supported by Diageo and other alcohol companies. This Diageo training in Australia reached 5,497 bartenders and included an explanation of standard drinks, and information on the effects of alcohol, minimum legal purchase age (LPA) for alcohol beverages and legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for drivers.
Through IARD, the alcohol industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health and Welfare (SESPAS) in the Dominican Republic in May 2016 - a first for the country. The MoU established a comprehensive work plan to address underage drinking, strengthen and expand marketing codes of practice, reduce drink driving, and enlist the support of retailers in efforts to reduce harmful drinking.
Henry Ashworth President of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking said: “The 2016 Producers’ Commitments Progress Report demonstrates the determination of our leading producers to be a force for good within their industries and society. Long term sustainable change and a reduction in harmful drinking can only happen when private, public and not for profit organisations work together locally, nationally and globally. We want to work with others to create new relationships and models of working that drive positive change through our all communities.”