ABFI director Kathryn D'Arcy has said that the drinks industry is eager to work with communities, farming groups and the government in order to create a "generational shift in our relationship with alcohol."
D'Arcy was speaking at a Macra na Feirme seminar in Limerick, which considered the implications of alcohol abuse on young people.
"The government must allow us to work with them to consider how alcohol is advertised and sold; ensuring alcohol is not sold as a loss leader," she explained. "It is also important to equip parents and educators with the tools to talk to young people about alcohol. We want to create a sustainable market with a long term future, which will see our products enjoyed and not misused by a mature audience.”
Noting that the drinks industry spends €400 million on raw materials from Irish farms per annum, and has an export value of €1.2 billion for the economy, D'Arcy reiterated that "this is legitimate and highly important industry, which should not be punished because a minority of Irish people abuse alcohol.
"Let me be perfectly clear in stating that the alcohol industry does not want our products to be misused and abused and the suggestion that the industry in some way condones harmful behaviour is offensive to the 62,000 people employed in the industry in Ireland."
A recent survey carried out by Empathy Research for Checkout found that just 22% of Irish consumers feel that the government’s plans to introduce ‘minimum pricing’ of alcohol products, as outlined the National Substance Misuse Strategy, will reduce alcohol consumption in Ireland.
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones