ABFI supports call by RCPI to change culture of excessive alcohol consumption

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Responding to today's report by Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), Kathryn D’Arcy, Director, Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), the association which represents alcohol manufactures and suppliers in Ireland, said:

“We welcome the call by RCPI to change the culture of excessive alcohol consumption in this country. We agree with the RCPI that the sale and supply of alcohol to minors should not be tolerated, and fully support the enforcement of the existing laws in this regard. We also wholly agree with the calls for further dissemination of guidelines on low risk levels of alcohol consumption.

“In order to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse and to effect the long-term cultural change, a collaborative approach is required.

“Evidence shows that the principle influencers on youth drinking are parents and peers. ABFI wants to see the introduction of Swedish-style education models which deliver interventions at a young age and have a proven track record in affecting cultural change, as opposed to the current proposals relating to alcohol sponsorship and advertising, which are counter-evidential, will damage the impacted sporting and cultural bodies and will impact negatively on an vital part of Ireland’s agri-food industry. The reality is that restricting advertising and sponsorship delivers good soundbytes but will not have a long-term impact on actualising cultural change.

“Shifting societal norms takes time – consider the success that Ireland has had making drink-driving socially unacceptable in this country. ABFI wants to realise a society where alcohol is enjoyed, not abused, and getting drunk is not socially acceptable, but getting to that point requires real courage and a collaborative approach.

“Only by all sectors of society working together collaboratively can we confront the many causes and effects of alcohol misuse. It will take time, but we have already seen a 20% fall in alcohol consumption in the last 12 years. If we work together we can change the culture of excessive alcohol consumption in this country.”

For further information contact Ruth O’Byrnes, Q4 Public Relations, 01 475 1444/086 0558331