IARD Producers Commitments report highlights progress on reducing harmful drinking

12 September, 2018

The world’s leading beer, wine, and spirits producers have reached hundreds of millions of people across the globe in their mission to combat harmful drinking.

 In 2012, 11 organisations, including Alcohol Beverages Australia members Asahi Group Holdings, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman Corporation, Diageo, Kirin Holdings Company (Lion) and Pernod Ricard, committed to work together forging partnerships across sectors, through their Producers’ Commitments, to combat harmful drinking and set new responsible standards for their wider industry.

The Producers Commitments full report, released by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) this week, details the progress made over the past five years and demonstrates what can be achieved when public, private, and civil sectors come together to tackle challenges including the harmful use of alcohol, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and the Sustainable Development Goals targets.

ABA Executive Director Fergus Taylor welcomed the report and the industry’s ongoing commitment to tackling harmful drinking.

“ABA members are leading the way in Australia, and globally, in the fight against harmful consumption,” Mr Taylor said.

“The downward trends we see locally in key areas like underage drinking and binge drinking both reflect and encourage this important industry participation.”

IARD CEO Chair and Chief Executive of Diageo Ivan Menezes commented “Having reached the end of our five years we can reflect proudly on the tangible difference we have already made, as well as the work we need to do in the future.

“It’s our duty to fight the harmful use of alcohol to help improve global health as well as reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases.

“Through our Producers’ Commitments, we have laid strong foundations for the work ahead, but recognize there is a lot more to do. But we cannot act alone. Innovative partnerships with retailers, government departments, health agencies and nongovernmental organizations have been instrumental to the progress we have made.”

IARD’s CEO and President Henry Ashworth stated that “The Producers’ Commitments demonstrate the determination of these leading global producers to be catalysts of change, and highlight the impact they can have by working with governments and NGOs.

“A whole-of-society approach is critical in delivering sustainable development locally, nationally, and globally and our collective efforts can go much further if we move from having a shared agenda to developing shared solutions. Together we can achieve change; reducing the harmful use of alcohol and accelerating progress towards the SDGs.”

Key achievements of the Producers Commitments include*:

Reducing underage drinking

  • 6 million underage people reached with face-to-face interactions between 2015 and 2017
  • 3 million influencers reached via face-to-face interactions between 2015 and 2017
  • Over half a billion people (546 million) reached between 2014 and 2017 through media and social channels

Reducing drinking and driving

  • Members operated an average of 347 drink-driving prevention programs per year between 2014 and 2017
  • Drink-driving programs and pilots were operating in 76% of countries where members were commercially active in in 2017

Strengthening marketing codes of practice

  • 97% of members contracts with advertising agencies in 2017 specified that they had to comply with our responsible advertising codes

Providing consumer information and responsible product innovation

  • Of the four signatories reporting by volume, 85% of products carried symbols or words warning against harmful drinking in 2017
  • Of the seven signatories reporting by brands, 59% of products carried symbols or words warning against harmful drinking in 2017

Working with retailers

  • An average of 224 local responsible retailing initiatives were operating per year between 2014 – 2017

Examples of initiatives highlighted within the report include:

Action against drink driving in Australia and New Zealand

DrinkWise Australia runs innovative drink driving prevention campaigns and is funded by Australian alcohol producers. It partnered with ride-sharing service Uber in 2017 to discourage racing fans from drink driving by operating the “DrinkWise UberZONE” during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which provided a safe and reliable access point for eventgoers to enter and leave the race course. The UberZONE promoted DrinkWise Australia and Uber’s messages about safe journeys and responsible alcohol consumption, with free water for attendees while they waited in comfort for their Uber ride home.

ENDS
Media enquiries:
Matt Johnston, Media and Communications Manager
Ph: 0432 535 893 or matt@alcoholbeveragesaustralia.org.au