The UK body for alcohol retailer standards has appointed a Tesco executive as it new chairman.

Hardish Purewal, Tesco's licensing manager, is replacing Nick Grant of Sainsbury’s as head of The Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG), it was confirmed yesterday (22 July). Grant had been chairman for nine years.

The group, backed by the UK's Wine & Spirit Trade Association, has also committed to develop a responsible retailing code for the off-trade as part of the UK Government's Public Health Responsibility Deal.

Purewal said producing the code will “be a key focus over the coming months and I relish the opportunity of working closely with retailers and others to help deliver this important commitment”.

The RASG, set-up in 2005, helped develop the UK's Challenge 21 scheme, which was expanded to Challenge 25 in 2009. Retailers are expected to ask anyone who looks under 25 for ID if they are buying alcohol.

A ban on the sale of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT was introduced in England and Wales in late May.