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New global alliance formed to promote the responsible sale and delivery of alcohol online

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A ground-breaking partnership between leading beer, wine and spirits producers, online retailers and ecommerce and delivery platforms to establish robust global standards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol beverages has been set up following calls for online alcohol sales to be more carefully policed.

Twelve leading global beer, wine, and spirits companies – including ABInBev, Ashahi Bacardi, Carlsberg, Heineken and Diageo – have formed International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and 12 prominent global and regional online retailers and ecommerce and delivery platforms, who operate across six continents have joined them.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has accelerated trends for online sale of alcohol, which was forecast to grow by over 40% in 2020.

“By working together, leveraging the innovative and pioneering mindsets that drive our companies, we can build on safeguards already in place and set robust responsibility standards across the board”, the group pledges.

Through its joint efforts, IARD hope to  forge more meaningful outcomes at scale across the whole supply chain, in wider sectors and across multiple jurisdictions. Specifically, it says it will develop global standards of responsibility that:

  • Enhance safeguards and security measures so minors are unable to buy alcohol beverages online
  • Put in place mechanisms to prevent beer, wine, and spirits being delivered to minors or to individuals showing visible signs of intoxication
  • Promote global standards as a resource to support the development of national in-country codes and practices for the online sale and delivery of alcohol that build on local and national regulation

Albert Baladi, President and CEO of Beam Suntory and Chair of IARD CEO Group, says: “We are excited about the promise of this partnership to develop powerful tools to help prevent minors from buying and consuming alcohol and to help reduce harmful drinking among adults. By building on safeguards that have already proven effective in certain countries and sharing new solutions and best practices, we can raise standards globally, from the point of purchase through to delivery. We encourage others to join this global collaboration, the first of its kind.”

Henry Ashworth, IARD President and CEO, adds: “This partnership marks a ground-breaking coalition to develop global standards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol. IARD is proud to be uniting the world’s leading drinks producers with leading online retailers, and e-commerce platforms in raising global standards of responsibility. In coming together, we believe the partnership can facilitate greater change across our wider sectors.”

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