Alcohol code ‘will not work’ – WSTA
Published:  13 August, 2009

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association has warned that the planned mandatory code of practice for alcohol retailers will increase the burden of bureaucracy and hit consumers in the pocket.

It says plans to give local authorities the power to ban multibuy promotions will impact wine merchants more than problem drinking.

And the WSTA has said that some steps are retrograde or unnecessary, including the introduction of a mandatory Challenge 21 policy when many areas and retail sectors have voluntarily moved to Challenge 25.

Chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “We have approached this consultation constructively from the start but, while we share the government’s ambition to tackle the minority of irresponsible businesses and consumers, we fear this code in its current form is unlikely to have the desired objective of reducing alcohol disorder.

“We fear the code is going to punish the majority of responsible retailers and consumers. It’s time for a rethink.”

The WSTA has called for targeted policies to tackle problem drinking, proper enforcement of existing laws and a local partnership approach to tackle problem areas.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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