Minister Dermot Ahern launches alcohol Code of Practice for mixed traders

(13 May 2009)
Lanuch6The  Minister  for  Justice,  Equality and Law Reform, Mr Dermot Ahern, TD, today launched a new Code of Practice on the Display and Sale of Alcohol in Mixed Trading Premises.

The Code, which was agreed following discussions between the Departments of Justice,  Equality  and  Law  Reform  and  Health  and  Children  and trade representatives,  represents  a  voluntary  agreement  with  representative bodies of supermarkets, convenience stores, garages on this issue. Speaking at the launch, Minister Ahern said: “During the passage of the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2008, I agreed to allow the mixed trading sector to implement the concept of structural separation on a voluntary basis. If sector-wide compliance to this Code can be demonstrated, I will not commence Section 9 of the Act.

However, I will have no hesitation in taking this step if the Code’s standards are not met. I  look forward therefore to receiving the first report assessing the sector–wide implementation of this Code in September 2009.”

Retailers have committed to locate alcohol in one area of the store through which customers  do  not  have  to  pass to obtain other beverages or food products. Retailers have also agreed  to  new  standards in relation to advertising of alcohol and to measures to combat underage drinking.

With  a view to supporting the commitment of retailers in the mixed trading sector  who  adhere  to  and implement the Code, the Minister signalled his intention to give legislative backing to the Code in future legislation. Minister Ahern continued: “While  non-compliance  by a retailer with the Code’s  provisions will not be an offence under the new legislation, non-compliance will constitute a ground on which objection may be made in the District Court to renewal of the retailer’s licence to sell alcohol.”

Padraic White heads up the body which will handle complaints about breaches of the Code and present an annual report on implementation to the Minister. The Minister said he was pleased that someone of Padraic White’s stature is heading up the audit and verification body attached to the Code.

The  Code  is available on (Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland).

12 May 2009

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