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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Global Actions: Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. June 5, 2013

Global Actions in Focus
The Global Actions newsletter will periodically feature best practices shared by our readers, including companies that are signatories of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers’ Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking. In this issue, we focus on HEINEKEN UK and its work in one of the five key areas addressed by the Commitments: providing consumer information and responsible product innovation. We look forward to highlighting more examples from Commitments stakeholders over the course of 2013 and beyond.

HEINEKEN was one of the first companies to introduce unit labeling practices in the United Kingdom that include five key nationally recognized elements:
  • Unit alcohol content;
  • The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) daily guidelines for lower-risk consumption;
  • Warnings about drinking when pregnant;
  • The Drinkaware website at; and
  • A responsibility statement (e.g. “please drink responsibly”).
In fact, 99% of the company’s bottles and cans in the U.K. now carry this information.

"We believe it is important for consumers to have information about units to enable them to make responsible choices on alcohol consumption,” said David Paterson, Head of Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility. “We recognize we can reach our consumers with information about units and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines in a way that the Government cannot. It is important that we use this opportunity by including information on our packaging."
Another fundamental aspect of the company’s best practices in the U.K. addresses the fact that many of its products are sold in draught in on-trade establishments. To ensure that on-trade consumers are also informed about the levels of alcohol they are consuming, HEINEKEN UK provided nearly 16 million unit-labeled glasses to the U.K. market in 2012.
Key Recent Milestones

· Estonia: ICAP Deputy President Marjana Martinic was the keynote speaker at a roundtable regarding “Self-Regulation Versus Alcohol Policy” at Tallinn Law School on May 29, 2013. She discussed ICAP activities and how self-regulation can be utilized as an effective tool in a state law framework. Martinic also emphasized that producers, advertising agencies, media, and retailers should be included in the process.

What's Happening Next
· China: In June, the Jiangsu Institute for Health Education and the Nanjing Bureau of Traffic Management will release the results of the 2011-2012 Drink Driving Initiative. Expected attendees include representatives from Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the Jiangsu Department of Public Security, the Nanjing Provincial Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and the Nanjing Bureau of Traffic Management.