Minister to drum up industry support at WSTA conference
Published:  09 April, 2008

Children’s minister Kevin Brennan will tell members of the drinks industry how they can help cut alcohol misuse among under-18s at the Wine & Spirit Trade Association’s spring conference.

Brennan, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for children, young people and families, will outline the challenges facing government on the issue at the conference on April 23.

Police are believed to have seized thousands of bottles of cider, beer and other alcohol from around 5,000 under-age drinkers in a recent two-week crackdown over February half-term.

Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “This is an important area for all of us and we’re keen to hear what the minister has to say. Through our Challenge 21 policy, we have substantially reduced the opportunities for under-18s to buy alcohol. We also have strict industry codes on selling and marketing to ensure products do not appeal particularly to young people.

“Our experience of working in partnership with police, trading standards and retailers suggests that increased co-operation can produce results.”

Other speakers at the event at London’s Gibson Hall include Marjana Martinic from the International Centre for Alcohol Policies, Richard Sharman of KPMG and Jonathan Stordy managing director for Spain & UK at Beam Global.

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