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Evaluation of the UK Voluntary Labelling Agreement Don Shenker Chief Executive Evaluation of the UK Voluntary Labelling Agreement Don Shenker Chief Executive

What’s Labelling For? • Provides warning when pregnant or trying to conceive • Alerts What’s Labelling For? • Provides warning when pregnant or trying to conceive • Alerts consumers to unit info • Provides info on safe drinking • Provides info on other health risk

UK Voluntary Agreement • Drinks industry agreed to label UK unit info on all UK Voluntary Agreement • Drinks industry agreed to label UK unit info on all products 10 years ago • Dept Health then agreed ideal label as voluntary label for all products in May 2007 • Voluntary agreement included info on risk to pregnancy

UK Voluntary Agreement • Know your limits • Unit Info • CMO guidelines • UK Voluntary Agreement • Know your limits • Unit Info • CMO guidelines • Pregnancy message • Drinnkaware website

Pregnancy warning “Avoid alcohol if pregnant or trying to conceive” Pregnancy warning “Avoid alcohol if pregnant or trying to conceive”

Review of 458 samples • “Know your limits” - 3% • Unit Info - Review of 458 samples • “Know your limits” - 3% • Unit Info - 43% • CMO guidelines - 2. 4% • Drinkaware website - 35% Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group - Monitoring Implementation of Alcohol Labelling Regime (2008)

Review of 458 samples • Recommended pregnancy Wording - 2. 2% • Alternative wording Review of 458 samples • Recommended pregnancy Wording - 2. 2% • Alternative wording - 2. 7% • Alcohol in Pregnancy Logo - 13% • 10 beers, 5 spirits, 51 wines Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group - Monitoring Implementation of Alcohol Labelling Regime (2008)

Has it worked? • 86% of drinkers are aware of units • 77% did Has it worked? • 86% of drinkers are aware of units • 77% did not know how many units were in a large glass of wine. • 55% thought it contained two units, rather than three • One in three people didn't know a pint of beer contained two units of alcohol You Gov Poll 2008 / BBC

Voluntary Agreement “Limited unit and health information and guidance is currently being made available… Voluntary Agreement “Limited unit and health information and guidance is currently being made available… however, overall there is much inconsistency as to the unit and health information content, format and location” (P. 3) Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association Group Monitoring Implementation of Alcohol Labelling Regime (2008)

Alcohol Concern Study • 10 promoted products at five major supermarkets – 50 products Alcohol Concern Study • 10 promoted products at five major supermarkets – 50 products • Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose • 4% of products had full agreed label • 18% sensible drinking levels and • 56% carried unit information • 40% carried either a message or symbol warning against drinking whilst pregnant Alcohol Concern 2009, Message in a Bottle

Industry arguments • On its way – takes time for production line to reach Industry arguments • On its way – takes time for production line to reach consumer • Too much info on small labels • Different countries have different measures of alcohol • Too costly for small producers Alcohol Concern 2009, Message in a Bottle

Inconsistencies across EU • UK unit is defined as 8 g of alcohol, in Inconsistencies across EU • UK unit is defined as 8 g of alcohol, in Poland 10 g, in Finland 11 g and in Italy 12 g • UK, Department of Health advises that men should drink no more than 24 - 32 g of alcohol per day, in Sweden the advice is 20 g per day, in Germany it is 30 g and in the Netherlands it is 39 g PORTMAN GROUP RESPONSE TO EC CONSULTATION DOCUMENT – “LABELLING: COMPETITIVENESS, CONSUMER INFORMATION AND BETTER REGULATION FOR THE EU” 2006

Voluntary vs. Statutory • UK Gov considered statutory end-frame health info – all alcohol Voluntary vs. Statutory • UK Gov considered statutory end-frame health info – all alcohol advertising • Cost to industry - £ 113 m • Net benefit - £ 3. 5 Bn (by year 10) • Decision made to abandon plan • Industry told to ‘get house in order’

Point of Sale Info • Can provide additional information at point of sale: • Point of Sale Info • Can provide additional information at point of sale: • Aisle, shelf, pay-point • UK Gov intended to mandate Po. S info within new code of retail practice • Convinced by industry to defer this option for one year

Voluntary vs. Statutory • Campaign Smarter Drinking - £ 100 m • No health Voluntary vs. Statutory • Campaign Smarter Drinking - £ 100 m • No health warnings – voluntary take up

Recommendations • Levy on drinks industry • Fund for independent public health organisation to Recommendations • Levy on drinks industry • Fund for independent public health organisation to determine health messages • Mandatory health and pregnancy information • EU consistency on measures and guidelines

Thank You dshenker@alcoholconcern. org. uk Tel. 020 7264 0510 www. alcoholconcern. org. uk Thank You [email protected] org. uk Tel. 020 7264 0510 www. alcoholconcern. org. uk