Comment - Drinks firms given labelling warning
If the drinks industry is serious about self-regulation, then it must practice what it preaches.
Today's Government study showing that only 15% of alcohol drinks on sale conform to a voluntary labelling scheme is pretty disappointing.
The industry is now, it seems, on a final warning over the scheme, which was set up between drinks trade bodies and the Government back in 2007.
Considering that most of the drinks industry is in favour of self-regulation when it comes to alcohol sales and promotions, it appears that more of its members need to pay attention to their own statements.
It is worth noting that research conducted by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association last year found higher levels of compliance with the labelling agreement than the Government's study. The trade body also notes that big players continue to join up.
Even so, it urges more producers to do so.
Despite a vehement public defence of self-regulation, nagging doubts have crept in among some in the industry in the last couple of years. It was, in part, this tacit acceptance about the failure of self-regulation in some areas that led to industry acquiescing to the Government's demand for a mandatory code on alcohol sales.
Whether or not we will see legislation on labelling, remains to be seen.
A General Election looms in the UK and opinions polls suggest a change of Government.
Given the rise of alcohol policies on the political agenda, a cynic might also put the timing of today's study down to a spot of electioneering. There is a growing feeling in the trade that both the current Government and main opposition party are competing for a section of voters in favour of a hardline stance on alcohol.
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