A formal consultation on a mandatory code to govern sales of alcoholic drinks in England has been launched by the Government.

Ministers announced late last year that they planned to introduce a mandatory code on selling alcohol, including a clampdown on promotions, as part of the Government's attempt to reduce alcohol-related harm.

just-drinks understands that industry has had to lobby for the launch of a consultation on the code, which was announced by the Government today (13 May).

Ministers had initially sought to push through the code without seeking further comment from the drinks sector.

Commenting on the consultation launch, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association said today: "With businesses facing falling sales in the middle of a deep recession, a further set of rules and regulations which add to day to day costs is hardly welcome."