The heads of Diageo Ireland, Heineken and Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard have come together during Alcohol Awareness Week to urge the government to adopt a collaborative approach to dealing with alcohol misuse and harmful consumption.
The three industry leaders made statements on the back of Revenue/CSO data that found that alcohol consumption was down 7.6% last year, and down 25% since 2001.
“With new figures from Revenue Commissioner showing that consumption has fallen by over 25% since 2001," said David Smith, Country Director, Diageo, "this Alcohol Awareness Week, we are calling on all stakeholders to consider the important role that the industry needs to play as part of the societal response to alcohol misuse. We don’t have all the answers, but we are willing to work with anyone who genuinely wants to make a difference.”
Maggie Timoney, Managing Director, Heineken added: “The Government’s recent excise increases have done little to affect societal change, succeeding only in threatening the future sustainability of the industry and in particular the Irish pub. We call on the Government to engage with us in a collaborative approach to tackle this issue which will make a real difference for generations to come.”
Finally, Anna Malmhake, chief executive of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, urged the government to "to work with all stakeholders to develop and introduce evidence-based solutions that will address alcohol misuse instead of punishing the majority of consumers who drink responsibly, with relentless tax hikes. As stated previously, we believe the reintroduction of the ban on below cost selling could be an immediately effective policy move in this area."