Blog: Chris MercerAndrew 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.

 

 

 


BLOG

How a visit to the dentist helped Muthar Kent get ahead in business

Want to know how to make it to the top of the beverage business? According to Muhtar Kent, it's all about the networking....

BLOG

What's on offer in the UK off-trade?

A red sticker to a shopper is like a red rag to a bull. And as the masses charge at the deals, UK off licences and supermarkets are finding new and novel ways to entice the herd. ...

BLOG

Hennessy's time capsule is for the ages

To celebrate its 250th anniversary, Cognac brand Hennessy is trumpeting a virtual time capsule, making a parallel between it and a barrel of Cognac....

BLOG

Monster Beverage Corp backs the right horse

Rarely do sponsorship deals pay off so quickly. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?