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    Portman Group publishes updated alcohol labelling guidelines

    The Portman Group, the alcohol marketing self-regulator, has today (May 10) updated its Alcohol Labelling Guidelines providing best practice guidance to alcohol producers.

    The Guidance sets the minimum recommended best practice elements for product labelling, which includes the provision of unit information, a pregnancy message or symbol, and a direction to Drinkaware.

    The update also now includes the recommendation to include the Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016, building on the commitment made by the Portman Group members in 2019 to include the CMO guidance on their labelling.

    “The Portman Group continues to set industry standards effectively, responsively, and at no cost to the public purse,” Matt Lambert, chief executive of the Portman Group, said.

    “We are proud of the huge progress made by the industry which already widely commits to responsible alcohol labelling. This updated guidance will further enhance adherence, and we hope will help small producers continue to market their products responsibly.”

    The previous edition was published in 2017 in collaboration with the British Beer and Pub Association, National Association of Cider Makers, Scotch Whisky Association, and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. The updated guidance is now also formally supported by the Society of Independent Brewers.

    This comes as Drinkaware, the independent UK alcohol education charity, lowers its licensing price for smaller producers and re-sellers. Drinkaware want to reach as many people at the risk of harmful drinking through having a strong message across most producers and re-sellers of alcohol to the public.

    From mid-June any organisation with an annual turnover from alcohol sales of £2.5m (inc duty, exc VAT) or less can apply to use Drinkaware’s protected IP via www.drinkaware.co.uk. The cost of the agreement will be £50 + VAT per annum, with the aim to support widespread take up across industry’s smaller producers and operators.

    Adam Jones, business development and partnerships Director at Drinkaware, said: “We hope that by making the Drinkaware logo license fee more accessible and cost effective for smaller producers and re-sellers we can reach as many people as possible who are at risk of harmful drinking.  We also think this is an important step in recognising the change in the profile of the drinks industry which has seen a huge number of smaller producers and sellers emerge over recent years.”

    Producers looking to implement the guidance are encouraged to use the Portman Group’s free Advisory Service, which offers confidential support to producers in developing their marketing.

    “We understand that producers face a range of challenges in ensuring that an increasing number of mandatory requirements are also incorporated on pack; and that there are specific demands on certain categories. We also appreciate that there is a cost to producers in ensuring that information on products adheres to voluntary and mandatory requirements. This is why the industry Alcohol Labelling Guidelines is supported by the Portman Group’s free Advisory Service which helps producers to incorporate best practice at a point when they are revising their product packaging and marketing,” Lambert added.

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