Europe’s brewers number one contributor to the EU Alcohol & Health Forum

Date

15 May 2009

Sections

Health & Consumers

Brussels – 30 April 2009 – More than one third of the more than 100 total commitments filed so far under the Alcohol and Health Forum have originated from The Brewers of Europe, national brewers‟ associations and beer companies, showed a report submitted by the European Commission‟s Health Department today.

According to the report, Europe‟s brewing sector has filed a total of 37 commitments as of mid-April 2009, not even including the 6 additional commitments that were announced today on the occasion of the Open Alcohol & Health Forum. Those new commitments come from the brewing associations of Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia.
Commenting on the report, The Brewers of Europe Secretary General Rodolphe de Looz-Corswarem stated: “This report recognises the brewing sector as the number one contributor to the Forum in terms of commitments made and we look forward to demonstrating that our locally-based commitments for action do actually work and are key in tackling alcohol related harm. Any proposed pan-European „one size fits all‟ approach will never work.”

One example of the new commitments that is worth mentioning is Austria where the brewing sector forged a partnership with the Austrian Automobile & Touring Club and the Austrian armed forces in launching an educational campaign reinforcing the message against drinking and driving.

The Italian campaign led by the national Brewers‟ Association in cooperation with the Italian Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (SIGO) to ensure womens‟ awareness of medical advice against drinking during pregnancy is another leading example of The Brewers of Europe‟s promotion of local partnerships. The Italian Ministry of Health has supported this campaign by introducing it into their “Guadagnare Salute” health initiative. Commenting on the success of the local partnership, SIGO President Professor Giorgio Vittori stressed: “Doctors are best placed to deliver the message to pregnant women and cooperation with other stakeholders is vital for the success of such an educational campaign.”
Several other commitments from the brewing sector have gained support from governments in recent times. For example, the “Drunk you‟re a fool!” campaign led by the Finnish brewers was awarded the Finnish Centre for Health Promotion‟s (TEKRY) prestigious “Health Promotion Act of the Year” 2008, while in Belgium the „Belgian Brewers‟ “Respect 16”-campaign to help reduce alcohol sales to minors won support from the mayor of Liège, where the pilot scheme was run.

At today‟s Open discussion platform on Alcohol and Health, Catherine Van Reeth, representing The Brewers of Europe in the Marketing Communication Taskforce of the Alcohol and Health Forum, drew attention to the sector‟s pioneering commitment to introduce comprehensive self-regulatory systems for beer advertising across the EU: “The brewing sector is very serious in putting its emphasis on implementing self-regulation standards across Europe in line with EU best practice models,” she stated.

The Brewers of Europe Interim Report on their first 25 Commitments to the EU Alcohol and Health Forum is available for download from www.brewersofeurope.org

(ENDS)

For further comment and information, please contact:
Rodolphe de Looz-Corswarem
Secretary-General
The Brewers of Europe
Email: rdlc@brewersofeurope.org
Tel: +32 (0)2 551 18 10

http://www.brewersofeurope.org/asp/press/press_pressrel.asp