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ABFI Expresses Concern That Minimum Unit Pricing Could Intensify Cross Border Shopping

By Dave Simpson

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has warned that the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing could intensify cross-border shopping for alcohol, hitting the Irish economy and border counties.

The ABFI believes that the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing should only be done in conjunction with Northern Ireland and that a ban on below cost selling should instead be introduced to tackle the sale of cheap alcohol.

Preventing "A Disparity"

ABFI director Patricia Callan stated, "The drinks industry is in favour of tackling the sale of cheap alcohol to reduce alcohol misuse. However, the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing in the Republic would intensify cross-border shopping...We firmly believe that any government decision about Minimum Unit Pricing should be done alongside Northern Ireland, to ensure there isn’t a disparity.

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"Given the current political context in Northern Ireland, this could take some time. In the interim, we believe that a ban on below cost selling should be introduced to tackle the sale of cheap alcohol in a quick and effective manner. [Such a cost] would ensure alcohol is not sold as a loss leader and would end the deep discounting that distorts the market.

"It should be noted, also, that Ireland already has the highest prices for alcohol in the EU, according to Eurostat."

© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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