Drinks Industry Joins Alliance To Strengthen Standards For Online Sale Of Alcohol
Ireland's drinks industry has joined a new alliance with online retailers, and e-commerce and delivery platforms to strengthen standards for the online sale of alcohol and further safeguard Irish consumers.
The move comes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to the representative organisation for alcoholic drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland, Drinks Ireland, caused e-commerce sales of alcohol to increase in Ireland last year, which is a trend that Drinks Ireland said is set to continue in 2021. The move also follows last month's news that the Irish Whiskey Association listed e-commerce as an area of growth opportunity for whiskey companies in its "Irish Whiskey 2010-2020" report.
Drinks Ireland stated that while, according to Revenue clearance date, the closure of the hospitality sector resulted in a 4.5% year-on-year decline in alcohol consumption in Ireland during the first nine months of 2020, it is important that consumers who buy alcohol online are protected.
The representative organisation said that a range of Ireland-based drinks producers were among the 12 global beer, wine and spirits producers and 12 global and regional online retailers, and e-commerce and delivery platforms that formed the new global alliance to implement industry standards for the sale of alcohol online.
The alliance was established through the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), of which Drinks Ireland is a member.
According to Drinks Ireland, the new alliance will develop global standards of responsibility that will enhance safeguards and security measures so minors are unable to buy alcohol online; put in place mechanisms to prevent beer, wine and spirits being delivered to minors or to individuals showing visible signs of intoxication; and promote global standards as a resource to support the development of national in-country codes and practices for the online sale and delivery of alcohol, which build on local and national regulation.
"The First Of Its Kind"
Drinks Ireland director Patricia Callan commented, "The rise of e-commerce offers opportunities for Irish producers to break into new markets and reach new consumer segments, and this will only grow in 2021. But Irish producers are committed to doing this in a responsible manner and are delighted to join this global collaboration between drinks companies and e-commerce platforms, which is the first of its kind.
"Irish drinks producers are responsible players, with stringent measures already in place to regulate the sale and marketing of alcohol in Ireland. The new alliance will develop standards, which will further protect consumers."
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