ALCOHOL Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has welcomed the latest figures from the European Commission which show that Ireland experienced the steepest drop in alcohol consumption of 20 EU countries between 2000 and 2014, at 23.6%.
Commenting on the findings, Patricia Callan, director of Alcohol Beverage Federation said: “Figures from the European Commission confirm that alcohol consumption in Ireland continues to drop and these findings endorse other statistics, such as those by the World Health Organisation (WHO), that show that Ireland’s alcohol consumption has fallen by 25% since 2005 — from 13.3 litres of alcohol per capita to 10.9 litres in 2016.
“This is twice the average rate of decline of the European Union’s 28 member states. Indeed, Ireland compares favourably to the majority of high income western countries like Australia (11.2 litres in 2016) and Canada (10 litres in 2016). In 2005 Ireland was ninth in the EU for alcohol consumption, we now stand 18th out of the EU’s 28-member states.
“As an industry, we’ve openly supported the introduction of legislation to tackle alcohol misuse and the consumption of alcohol by young people. However, there’s no evidence to support certain aspects of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which we believe will do nothing to tackle misuse but will jeopardise jobs and local economies.
“The reality is the Bill contains a series of punitive measures that would make Ireland amongst the most restricted countries in the world in terms of marketing freedoms for alcoholic products. It will not only make Ireland less attractive as a business location for global players, but it will also suffocate smaller players attempting to promote their products.”