EU spirits producers back responsible drinking

The European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) has launched a new five-year commitment to promote responsible drinking.

A collaboration of 31 national associations, the CEPS roadmap 2015, is the second edition following the 2005-2010 charter.

The roadmap sets out over a dozen new commitments to be undertaken by spirits producers across the EU. These include:

• Increasing the coverage, scale and visibility of industry initiatives.

• Placing responsible drinking messages on product labels, where possible linking to national consumer information websites.

• Implementing at least two new awareness and education programmes per country by the end of 2015.

The awareness and education programmes will cover issues such as alcohol and pregnancy, drink driving, and alcohol and youth.

Programmes will be nationwide, developed in partnership, sustained for at least three years and independently evaluated.

Stefano Fresi, chairman of the CEPS alcohol and society committee and director of external affairs at Bacardi-Martini, said: “This extensive new commitment puts our sector at the forefront of industry action for responsible drinking.

“The roadmap takes a targeted approach, addressing specific types of alcohol misuse. This is underpinned by clear evidence that tackling misuse effectively requires tailored interventions, not blanket restrictions, which mostly impact moderate drinkers.”

An independent assessment of the first 2005-2010 charter showed that most commitments made had been achieved by the end of 2010.

Jamie Fortescue, director general of CEPS, said: “The roadmap 2015 is built on this momentum, but also on lessons learnt. Increasing scale, reach, partnership and visibility will be our guiding principles over the next five years.”