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Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments Mark Two-year Progress Toward Reducing Harmful Drinking

- WASHINGTON, September 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

CEOs of the leading global producers of beer, wine and spirits today released a report highlighting the progress on their unprecedented initiative to reduce harmful drinking. At the two-year mark of the five-year program, the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking (http://www.producerscommitments.org) has shown progress in key areas including helping to reduce underage drinking, prevent drink driving, and strengthen and expand marketing codes of practice to promote responsible drinking.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150909/265153 )

Notable in the report is the producers' progress in supporting the reduction of underage drinking. Signatory companies have undertaken 180 underage drinking prevention education programs around the world. The Beer, Wine, and Spirits producers helped drive the development of a legal purchasing age policy in Vietnam in 2014.  

"We believe that addressing harmful drinking must involve all sectors of society-governments, civil society, and the private sector-and are therefore pleased that the CEOs of the major alcohol-producing companies have agreed to a set of five commitments to address harmful drinking in a five-year program of work," said Ann Keeling, President/CEO, International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), which serves as Secretariat to the Commitments. "IARD welcomes other alcohol-producing companies and retailers to join us in scaling up this effort and invites partners from government, civil society, and international organizations to read this report and see how we can collaborate to find solutions."

"Our companies are represented in more than 100 countries, and we are committed to making a positive and lasting contribution through our joint efforts in all of the markets in which we operate," said Carlos Brito, Commitments CEO Group Chair and CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev. "Our Commitments are a good starting point to help reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol globally; but to take the impact of our work to the next level, we need to expand this collective approach to also include other beer, wine and spirits companies, as well as retailers, governments, international organizations, and local community groups. We are working hard to bring these partnerships together so that we can have an even greater impact in our efforts to reduce harmful drinking."

The Commitments represent the largest ever industry-wide initiative to address harmful drinking. The 2014 Progress Report, based on key performance indicators developed by Accenture Sustainability Services, was assured by KPMG Sustainability.  The report examines the gains made on multiple identified action areas. Progress areas include:

The Progress Report also outlines the work that lies ahead for the duration of the initiative, including expanding collective drink driving efforts to other countries; continuing work in targeted countries that do not have a legal purchase age; and continuing to collaborate with major international retailers to best define their role in supporting the goal of reducing harmful drinking. In 66 of the 117 countries where Commitments signatories are active, at least one signatory is working on moving forward retail initiatives to reduce harmful drinking.

The producers initially signed the Commitments in October 2012, when they agreed to undertake a series of actions over five years (beginning in 2013) with the goal of strengthening and expanding existing efforts to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. The five commitments address:

IARD and the producers also support the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol and welcome the positive role it identifies for producers, distributers, marketers, and sellers of beer, wine, and spirits.

Watch an excerpt of the CEOs panel discussion on their achievements:  Producers' Commitments

For editors: 

What is IARD? 

IARD is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to addressing the global public health issue of harmful drinking and promoting responsible drinking. As a contributing risk factor for three major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), reducing harmful drinking is a priority for the world's governments, as set out in the WHO Global Action Plan on NCDs and the UN Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs. IARD supports implementation of the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol and the constructive role Member States have identified for producers.  

As a global public health NGO, we partner with public, civil society, and private stakeholders to advance our mission of contributing to the reduction of harmful drinking and promoting responsible drinking worldwide. IARD supports implementation of the global target set by the world's governments of"at least 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol" by 2025. IARD is supported by its Member Companies from all sectors of the alcohol industry- beer, wine, and spirits- in their common purpose of being part of the solution to the harmful use of alcohol.  

The 12 signatories of the Commitments are:  Anheuser-Busch InBev; Asahi Group Holdings; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brown-Forman Corporation; Carlsberg; Diageo; Heineken; Kirin Holdings Company; Molson Coors; Pernod Ricard; and SABMiller. 

1225 19th Street NW, Suite 500 ● Washington, D.C. 20036 USA 

  http://www.iard.org

For inquiries about IARD, please contact:

Isabella Platon, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Communications

IPlaton@IARD.org

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