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UK: Greene King CEO in minimum price plea

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The CEO of brewer and pub owner Greene King has called for a fresh industry code on alcohol sales and for the Government to implement minimum pricing on drinks.

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All drinks firms, retailers and trade bodies should sign up to a new code to regulate sales, promotions, pricing and opening hours, Rooney Anand said in an open letter published in the Times newspaper today (2 July).

He also renewed his call for a minimum price on drinks and for the Government to use a fixed amount of the proceeds from duty tax to actively promote responsible drinking.

Support for minimum pricing has grown the pub trade, with many upset at cheap alcohol deals offered by the supermarkets.

"It is a basic law of economics that price is a big factor in influencing demand, so it must make sense that setting a realistic minimum price will discourage bulk-buying of drinks," said Anand.

He added that the industry must do more to show it can tackle excess drinking, if it hopes to avoid stringent legislation.

The Coalition Government, elected in May, has shown little desire for minimum pricing, but it has promised to "overhaul" the current licesning laws and is keen to ban below-cost drinks sales.

Greene King yesterday injected some optimism into the UK beer and pub sector by reporting rises in sales and profits for its full-year.


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