Nine trade bodies representing beer, wine, spirits and retailers, in addition to the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (a panel that includes major UK retailers), have signed a joint letter warning that, if the proposals go ahead, they will cause 'significant harm to Scotland’s businesses and will ultimately push up prices for consumers.'
The open letter has been signed by the Adult Non-Alcoholic Beverage Association (ANBA), Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG), Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP), Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA), Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF), Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC), Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA), The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP)
The letter follows a similar open letter, sent earlier this month from a group of Scotland’s distilleries and brewers, voicing their concern that banning alcohol from sponsoring sports and cultural events and removing branding from pubs could 'destroy' Scotland’s drinks industry.
The trade bodies, who have united under the umbrella of the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership (SAIP), further argued that the ban would not reduce harmful drinking and is likely to push up crime.
According to the letter, “Retailers throughout Scotland go to great lengths to ensure that they have the correct licences to retail alcohol, that products are labelled according to UK labelling requirements, that products are placed in stipulated areas as per the Premises Licence and that products are sold for at least the minimum unit price.
"Moving alcohol to the back of stores or to closed off areas will hinder a store’s ability to comply with the licensing objective of preventing crime as colleagues at the tills would not be able to visually monitor those areas.”