Consumption levels in Ireland have fallen by 25% since 2001 - at 10.7 litres per adult (LPA) we are quickly approaching the OECD average of 9.1 LPA.
However while overall consumption is falling, alcohol misuse issues such as binge and underage drinking are still problematic in our society. We need to look at ways of addressing these issues in a way that affects long term societal change. This requires a whole of society response.
As an industry, we believe there is a major issue in Ireland with alcohol being sold below cost and the advertising of price-based promotions that often rely on selling larger quantities of alcohol. We’d call on the Government to address alcohol misuse caused by the availability of cheap alcohol by doing the following:
- Focusing on the sale of below cost alcohol,
- introducing a statutory ban on price-based advertising
- Introducing codes to regulate the merchandising of alcohol.
It is also in our interest to ensure a regulatory regime rooted in the principles of support for entrepreneurship, protection of the environment, community empowerment and firm-but-fair evidence-based regulation.
To be effective, alcohol policies must strike a balance and serve the interests of individuals and society alike.
Consumer interests and producer interests must be aligned. By implementing a better policy, it is possible to achieve the need for a thriving economy and maintain a safe environment.
The drinks industry is an important national stakeholder, and our policies reflect our role in Irish life, and the responsibility we bear.