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Sutton calls for greater responsibility

Published:  23 July, 2008

The drinks trade has no commercial interest in having customers senseless with alcohol or seeing pictures of legless people in newspapers or on television, said Barry Sutton, chairman of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
Sutton was speaking at the AIM (Alcohol in Moderation) forum on Alcohol and Health Current Evidence, Future Trends which was held at the International Wine and Spirit Centre in London on 8 March.

He said: On the contrary, the commercial interest of the trade as a whole is for alcohol consumers to drink regularly but moderately into a long old age.

A George Best is far less profitable than my great aunt Rose who drank a couple of glasses of tonic wine a day and a teaspoon of whisky in her tea and lived to 107,' he declared.

What we have to do as a trade is to make it as easy and as painless as possible for the average sensible adult to

access the widest possible range of alcoholic beverages in whatever quantity they wish and in any place that they prefer to be in,' said Sutton. At the same time we have to make it harder for minors and excessive, abusive, drinkers to get hold of their alcohol,' he said.

Sutton said the trade must promote and implement effective codes of conduct. It must be vigilant and encourage staff training at point of sale. In pledging his support to healthy drinking he thanked AIM for providing the forum.

The WSTA and, I believe the whole trade, has a commitment to continue to develop initiatives to promote sensible and moderate drinking and to control abuse and under age purchasing. Our work will be research-based, focusing on effectiveness rather than cheap publicity,' said Sutton.