BBPA responds to opposition to PHE & Drinkaware collaboration

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to reports of public health experts opposing Public Health England (PHE) working with Drinkaware.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds (pictures) said, “Drinkaware is an independent charity with expert medical and scientific advisors. It now attracts some nine million visitors to its website and app every year.

'Its public awareness campaigns, such as ‘Drink a Little Less, Feel a Lot better’ and the Drinkaware Crew - which works with the night time economy, has received international interest and recognition.' Simmonds added that the campaigns now have influence on sport, from walking football to cricket supporters.

She continued, “The brewing industry in this country, where 82% of our beer is produced, wants to promote drinking in moderation which is why the majority fund Drinkaware who have very much played their part in a fall in alcohol consumption of 18% since 2004.

'The forward thinking approach of Public Health England to work with Drinkaware is clearly fulfilling their desire to engage with consumers to raise awareness of the ways that those seeking to moderate their drinking habits can do so sensibly. PHE is clear that the industry takes their responsibly seriously and must be part of the solution to address excessive consumption.'

Simmonds concluded, “The alcohol industry agreed with the Government last year that the previous CMO’s guidance on all cans and bottles would be removed by the end of September 2019. Label changes are costly and take time.

'The new CMO’s guidance is not simply about units per week. All bottles and cans will link to Drinkaware where a fuller explanation of the guidance is available and there are clear links to Public Health England.”