According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), retailers understand their responsibilities and don’t need to be told to provide unit labelling on their own-brand alcoholic drinks, as they are already doing it.
Reacting to Government claims that the drinks industry is failing to meet a voluntary agreement on labelling, the BRC said it’s something retailers have already embraced willingly.
A consultation being launched today by the Department of Health and the UK’s devolved health departments acknowledges the progress of supermarkets and a number of drinks manufacturers in putting this information on bottles and cans.
But the consultation still suggests compulsion as one way of getting unit labelling on to more alcohol products more quickly.
BRC food director Andrew Opie said: “Retailers are responsible. They don’t need to be told to do this. From the very start retailers recognised the importance of unit labelling to encouraging responsible drinking.
“We were the first to get involved with the Government on this and we were actively involved in developing the label as a concise, easy way to give customers information that helps them make informed decisions.
“While owners of some of the big name brands have dragged their feet, supermarkets have set the pace and now have unit labels on virtually all their own-brand alcohol.
“They deserve full credit. What we now need is consistency and the same level of commitment from all parts of the drinks industry.
“Retailers are the most responsible sellers of alcohol. They’re also pioneering initiatives such as Challenge 25 and funding Drinkaware, which provides further evidence of their commitment to changing the culture around alcohol in the UK.”