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.
Would the thought of working in a morgue stop you from drink driving? ...
You would be forgiven for thinking that the US cider boom is over. Sales growth of as much as 90% in the past few years has shrunk to double figures. ...
The drinks industry could do more to benefit from new technology. ...
The soft drinks world is abuzz today over what an executive shake-up at PepsiCo might mean to on-going speculation over CEO Indra Nooyi's successor....
- Brown-Forman's march on premium whisk(e)y -Comment
- Will US consolidation leave craft alcohol exposed?
- Are consumers getting tired of consuming?
- Where does AB InBev see the future of beer?
- Should Boston Beer Co put up the For Sale sign?
- Brown-Forman to buy BenRiach Distillery Co
- AB InBev snaps up Italy's Birra del Borgo
- Smirnoff Ice Electric flavours - NPD
- Bacardi rolls out new global Martini ad - video
- US craft beer to hit saturation soon - Koch
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- What Next for Beer and Brewers Following the MegaBrew Deal?
- Emerging Drinks Industry Trends