Alcohol Consensus Is Achievable Say Distillers
26 Nov 2009
Responding to publication of the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill, the
SWA reiterated its support for the majority of the Scottish
Government's recommendations, but warned that minimum pricing would
not address alcohol harm, was probably illegal under EU law, and
would damage Scotch Whisky at home and in export markets.
Whilst rejecting minimum pricing, the SWA believe that a viable
alternative would be to consider measures to tackle loss-leading
sales of alcohol. The industry has proposed that a mechanism to
prevent sales below invoice or tax prices should be examined.
Only last week the industry also introduced tough new measures
which will further regulate Scotch Whisky advertising and point of
sale material in terms of the inclusion of a responsible drinking
Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association,
"The industry agrees there is a need to tackle alcohol misuse.
We support moves to regulate the display of alcohol, tough
enforcement of existing licensing laws, and would back a ban on
below cost sales to tackle loss leading of alcohol.
"Opposition parties' recognition that minimum pricing is not the
answer to alcohol misuse in Scotland has been welcome.
"We must now develop a broad consensus around effective
measures. We want to work in partnership with all parties in a way
that directly tackles harm, but ensures the economic sustainability
of the wider economy in which the Scotch Whisky industry plays a
"The evidence of research on minimum pricing is that the
heaviest drinkers are less likely to adjust their drinking than
moderate consumers. Minimum pricing is illegal and the Scottish
Government has less trade restrictive means available to tackle