Blog: Andrew Lansley the toast of the drinks industry
Chris Mercer | 14 September 2011
The UK health minister was received about as warmly as he could have hoped at the Wine & Spirit Trade Association annual conference.
In stark contrast to the combative tone struck by some of his predecessors, Andrew Lansley appeared keen to shower praise on the UK drinks industry at the conference today (14 September). I counted five uses of "thank you" in the first ten minutes of his speech.
There is no doubt that, in the Conservative-led Coalition Government, the drinks industry has found a significant amount of common ground. Lansley, a Conservative Member of Parliament, heaped praise on the industry's commitment to the government's 'responsibility deal' to reduce alcohol harm. He also reinforced the official line that this Government prefers "voluntary action" over regulation.
Hard-talking, anti-alcohol health lobbyists have largely been driven underground by a Government that prioritises business and dislikes intervention.
Can this honeymoon last? It depends on what is achieved and whether enough people in the industry see this for the golden opportunity that it is. The early signs are promising for the sector, with 110 companies signed up to the responsibility deal.
But, the industry has to be mindful of the constant conflict in Conservative Party thinking. That conflict comes when its non-interventionist values are challenged by threats to public order and, relatedly, to anything that further jeopardises the economic wellbeing of the nation.
For now, though, the industry and the current administration have an understanding that never looked possible before the general election in 2010.
Forget gluten-free. Fodmaps are the latest food trend, and if you work in the soft drinks industry it is important to know where you stand with them....
Companies are very protective of their brand image. So it is refreshing to hear Diageo's Garbhan O’Bric, the global brand director for Baileys, speak the unvarnished truth when talking about the lique...
Alcohol companies love a good movie tie-in. A brush with Hollywood glamour seems to give marketers the warm and fuzzies, judging by the number of deals done over the past few years. The new James Bond...
just-drinks is in Cannes this week at the Tax Free World Association show. Here's the second part of Andy Morton's blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of the most important dates in the Trave...
- Whatever happened to binge Britain? - comment
- The dangers of squaring up to your competitor
- The US beer market - A level playing field for all
- Remy Cointreau's Q2 and H1 - preview
- Constellation and Ballast Point's "sticker shock"
- Sidney Frank CEO to head Clooney's import co
- Diageo sells off United Spirits' Bouvet Ladubay
- Captain Morgan distillation trial queried by USVI
- Irish whiskey brands could fail without bulk
- Sazerac sues Brown-Forman over Tennessee Fire
- Global Beer Trends 2015 : Global Beer Trends and Long-term Forecasts
- Global sparkling wine insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Future growth opportunities for global spirits
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global Wine Market to 2019 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts