Global partnership helping to combat harmful drinking

11 September, 2017 by Ayoung

The world’s leading producers of beer, wine and spirits have published the latest Producers’ Commitments progress report, which highlights the global efforts to tackle problem drinking.

The report has also highlighted the partnerships that have been formed with DrinkWise to help tackle underage drinking, drunk driving and binge drinking in Australia.

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DrinkWise has highlighted some of the key elements from the report, which showcases the efforts being made to combat harmful drinking.

These include:

  • Pioneering alliances via industry funded organisation DrinkWise Australia – these collaborations have provided significant opportunities to introduce moderation messaging to public events including Year 12 Schoolies, university orientation week events, and sporting events including Cricket Australia, the AFL, Surfing Australia and The Melbourne Spring (horse) Racing Carnival.
  • Effective social marketing campaigns including DrinkWise’s How to Drink Properly campaign which has reached more than two million young adults to date. Evaluation of this program has shown that most young people exposed to this ground-breaking campaign indicate that they now think about the benefits of moderation and reflect on their behavior with over four in 10 moderating how much they drink on a night out.
  • Outreach to diverse populations including reaching thousands of indigenous young Australians and their families through collaborations with DrinkWise and the Red Dust Role Models – an NGO focused on the health and welfare of indigenous populations.

Commenting on the report John Scott, CEO of DrinkWise said: “As a not-for-profit social change organisation dedicated to promoting a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia we know that tackling harmful drinking takes a whole of community approach. Only by drawing on partnerships between government, industry and the community will we have the greatest impact in reducing alcohol related harm in Australia.”

The 2016 Producers’ Commitments progress report also includes key lessons and insights for future action and recognises that while progress has been made there is still much work to do.

Bruno Rain, the Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, acknowledged that there is still a lot that needs to be done in terms of combatting harmful drinking, but said Australia’s industry should be proud of what it has achieved so far.

“The commitment of Australian producers to undertake both their own community programs and support DrinkWise to tackle poor aspects of our drinking culture over the past 11 years is beginning to deliver positive outcomes,” Rain said.

“Recent Australian Government statistics show that Australia is now a culture more defined by moderation than excess and while there is more that we can do, the industry should be proud of their contribution to this trend.”

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) sees the world’s leading beer, wine and spirits producers working with hundreds of organisations around the world and this report says that more than 100 million people were reached with educational messages about tackling underage drinking in 2016.

Carlos Brito, Chair of IARD and CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said: “We take pride in our products and their role in society, believe that a culture of smart drinking is good for business, and recognise our duty to help reduce harmful consumption of alcohol.

“We have seen that progress is possible, but we know there is much work to do. We all look for occasions to enjoy the good things in life. We all want the best for our families and communities. It’s up to all of us to promote smart drinking and reduce the harmful use of alcohol. Harmful drinking is a complex issue with multiple causes.

“We believe that beer, wine and spirits companies can be part of the solution. IARD’s ambition is to establish the international standards for preventing harmful consumption, by helping us to share best practices, establish common commitments and facilitating a dialogue with civil society. We are committed to build on our efforts for the final year of our Commitments, and beyond.”

These companies are now calling on others to join them in their global mission to combat the harmful use of alcohol, Henry Ashworth President of IARD said: “The 2016 Producers’ Commitments Progress Report demonstrates the determination of these leading global producers to be a force for good within their industries and society. Long term sustainable change and a reduction in harmful drinking can only happen when private, public and not-for-profit organisations work together locally, nationally and globally. We want to work with others to create new relationships and models of working that drive positive change through all our communities.”