Drinks industry delivers two years early on ‘billion unit pledge’

Brigid Simmons, BBPA, chief executive, billion unit pledge, images
Brigid Simmons, chief executive of the BBPA
23/12/2014 - 07:26
A new report released by the Department of Health has shown that Britain’s brewers have already exceeded the ‘billion unit pledge’.

The total one billion unit target, due to be delivered by the end of 2015, has already been met with 1.3 billion units of alcohol removed, with beer delivering 1.2 billion of the total.

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “The reduction in the number of units between 2011 and 2013 has mainly been achieved by reductions in the average strength of beer, which has reduced from 4.42% in 2011 to 4.14% in 2013. This accounted for 1.2 billion of the 1.3 billion total reduction.

"Our brewers have made a fantastic contribution in delivering the pledge in two ways. They have adjusted the strengths of certain products, and have brought new, innovative, great-tasting lower strength products to consumers.

"We are seeing increasing interest from consumers in lower strength beers, and innovation in the tax system, with the Chancellor's fifty per cent beer duty discount for beers below 2.8 per cent in strength, has also created an incentive, showing the benefits to be gained by encouraging both producers and consumers with lower taxes for lower-strength drinks like beer."

The billion-unit pledge was set up with the alcohol industry to help customers drink within guidelines as part of the Responsibility Deal. The BBPA was originally founded as the Brewers’ Society in 1904 and now accounts for 90% of beer brewed in Britain today.

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