ABFI responds to HRB study on alcohol consumption in Ireland

Monday, 23 June 2014

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION NOW 25% LOWER THAN 2001
DOWN 7.6% IN LAST 12 MONTHS
‘THERE’S A NEED FOR AN EVIDENCE BASED APPROACH TO BINGE DRINKING’-ABFI

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has welcomed the publication of the HRB’s study on alcohol consumption in Ireland 2013 today as an opportunity for meaningful engagement on the issue of binge drinking.

ABFI pointed to other consumption findings from DCU Economist Tony Foley from March 2014, sourced from the CSO Population and Migration Estimates and the Revenue Commissioners’ alcohol clearance data.

These findings showed that consumption is now 25% lower than 2001 and is back to pre-1990 levels. Average consumption fell by 7.6% between 2012 and 2013.

While welcoming the investment in research in the area of binge drinking, the broad approach taken in this study and the definition given to binge drinking (6 standard drinks or 3 pints of beer) does not help in identifying those most at risk. Further work is required to identify and develop a targeted approach which supports those most likely to engage in harmful drinking.

Thomas Burke, Senior Executive, ABFI said: ‘While overall consumption is falling binge drinking is still problematic in our society. We need to look at ways of addressing this issue in a way that affects long term societal change. This requires a whole of society response.

‘As an industry, we’d call on the Government to address alcohol misuse 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.

The drinks industry remains committed to tackling the issue of alcohol misuse in conjunction with Government and other stakeholders such as the HRB .‘

For more information please contact:
Q4PR, 014751444

Martin Mackin/Colin Taylor (0867832502)