NOffLA outlets will maintain a watching brief on fellow alcohol retailers as the regulations from the Intoxicating Liquor Act come into effect on 30th July. Although this legislation promised a great deal, the reality has been somewhat different. For members of the National Off-Licence Association, it will be business as usual as we continue to honour our commitment for Responsible Trading in the Community.
NOffLA Chairman, Jim McCabe, has spoken of the association’s commitment to dealing with underage drinking. We have put in place a training and self-regulating enforcement scheme for all of our 330 members, which means that premises are open to random, mystery spot checks and are obliged to adhere to a number of conditions in order to qualify for accreditation to the scheme.”
Clearly, the National Off-Licence Association has led the way with the introduction of staff training and best practice through the Responsible Trading in the Community training programme. Jim McCabe believes that this has already benefited society in general – and to the continued success of the independent off-trade: “We have found ourselves in the unique position of being the first organisation within the drinks industry to take positive, practical steps to tackle a serious problem that has had a damaging impact in relation to the image of our business over a number of years.”
NOffLA members are aware that only outlets that have undertaken and passed NOffLA’s Responsible Trading in the Community scheme will be eligible for membership renewal. In addition, all new members will only be given temporary membership until they have attended and passed the next available course.
NOffLA looks forward to other alcohol retailers meeting this commitment to best practice, but, it is likely that only NOffLA outlets will continue to distinguish themselves in this regard. Watch this space.