The Chancellor's speech covering the government's plans for tobacco and alcohol duty in full.

Budget responses

23 March, 2011

The National Association of Cider Makers, Diageo and the ACS have reacted to the Budget announced this afternoon.

There is heavy speculation that Diageo could make a US$2 billion bid for tequila brand Jose Cuervo.

Two new members have joined the Independent Complaints Panel – the independent body that looks at complaints about irresponsible alcohol marketing made under the Portman Group’s Code of Practice.

Makeover for Blue Nun

21 March, 2011

Blue Nun is embarking on another relaunch, with a reformulated version of its flagship blend and new packaging.

The government has announced a fresh crackdown on drink-driving, but stopped short of lowering the blood/alcohol limit for motorists.

The Tobacco Manufacturers Association has said expected duty rises in Wednesday’s Budget will undermine efforts to curb smuggling.

Pernod Ricard UK has suspended distribution of Malibu after a fault was found affecting the flavour of some stocks.

Researchers at the University of Leicester are working on a hand held device to detect fake wine and whisky through the bottle.

Documents relating to the proposed company voluntary arrangement for beleaguered wine chain Oddbins show it owes HM Revenue & Customs £8.6 million in duty, VAT and PAYE.

CAP takes on new recruit

15 March, 2011

There are now more than 35 Community Alcohol Partnership schemes around the country and the project has proved so popular that it is recruiting a second full-time employee.

Drinks trade leaders say they can play a key part in creating a responsible drinking culture in the UK.

Six organisations representing the health lobby on alcohol issues have confirmed that they have refused to sign up to a series of proposed pledges to be made by drinks retailers and suppliers arising form the government’s responsibility deal.

Heineken UK has pledged to reduce the abv content of one of its major drinks brands by 2013 as part of the drinks industry’s responsibility deal with the government.

Complaints about irresponsible alcohol marketing have reached a record low thanks to marketing people “seeking more advice than ever before”.

Diageo Great Britain has announced a new addition to its range of premixed drinks: Smirnoff Vodka and Diet Cola.

Oddbins is to seek to enter a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in a bid to allow the chain to carry on trading.

More people are giving up chocolate for Lent than alcohol, according to a survey commissioned by Eisberg.

Russia and Lebanon will have a bigger presence than ever at this year’s London International Wine Fair.

Senegalese artist Amadou Sow has created the latest limited edition bottle for the Taittinger Collection Champagne range.

The government has announced it will press ahead with a tobacco display ban.

Rioja imports to the UK soared by 23% last year, according to the Consejo Regulador.

Waitrose buyer Nick Room has been named chairman of the Gran Orden de Caballeros, the body which honours people who promote Spanish wine in the UK.

Beer, spirits and cigarettes have been seized from shops in the Lancashire town of Morecambe.

February retail sales values were down 0.4% on a like-for-like basis over the same month in 2010, according to British Retail Consortium figures.

A formal consultation on minimum pricing for alcohol has been launched in Northern Ireland.

The Scotch Whisky Association is supporting the WWF’s Earth Hour initiative, which aims to make a stand against climate change.

Oddbins is to close 39 store as part of a strategic review.

Asda has been found in breach of the Portman Group’s code of practice over the labelling of an own-label cider.

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14 July, 2008

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Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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