C&C-owned Tennent’s Lager was the first major Scottish brewer to declare its support for minimum pricing in March 2010 which was reiterated in January 2012. This support is now being extended to the proposal being made in Westminster today.
In a rare Friday statement in the House of Commons UK Home Secretary Theresa May pointed out that just under one fifth of all alcohol sold would be affected by the 40 pence minimum price.
The Government’s alcohol strategy document, just published, has proposed a minimum price of 40 pence per unit for alcohol sales in England and Wales.
Although few, if any, on-trade prices would be affected by this move, heavily discounted ciders, super-strong lagers and cheap spirits from off-trade outlets certainly would find themselves subject to this crackdown.
Two-for-one and multi-buy deals are also likely to be affected by the proposals and the document also contains plans to introduce a late-night levy from pubs and clubs to help pay for policing.
The levy, coupled with the end of the multi-deal, could spell the death of supermarkets selling cheap own-branded product.
The proposals are due to go out for consultation this Summer and legislation will be brought in before the end of the year with minimum pricing to be introduced in 2014.
A spokesman for C&C said, “As a leading UK drinks company, we take our responsibilities as a brewer and cider-maker seriously. We recognise that there’s an issue with the abuse of alcohol by a minority of consumers in the UK and that the Government has a role to play in tackling this. C&C therefore welcomes sensible moves to ensure that alcohol is enjoyed responsibly.
“In principle, we support the Government’s proposals to introduce minimum pricing measures for alcohol so long as it is introduced as one of a range of measures aimed at tackling this issue and these measures are implemented fairly and proportionately.”