Pub company calls for laws to curb off-trade

23 July, 2008

The UK’s largest pub company has called on the government to introduce legislation to curb below-cost sales in the off-trade.

Enterprise Inns’ statement coincided with the Department of Health’s warning that it was ready to impose a compulsory code of conduct on the entire drinks industry – because the Government believes voluntary measures are not working.

The pub company issued a gloomy trading statement, referring to “double digit” volume declines for beer sales in the on-trade in the year since the smoking ban came into force.

“At the same time, the Government’s ill-conceived increase in alcohol duty will adversely impact all responsible licensees and pub goers and do little to address the much publicised problems of antisocial behaviour and binge drinking,” the statement said.

“We would once again call into question the strategy of the major supermarkets, some of whom continue to use alcohol as a traffic builder, often selling multipacks at below cost into a marketplace where consumption is almost entirely unregulated. In the absence of responsible retailing, we would expect the Government to introduce sensible legislation to address this issue.”




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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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