Fuller’s backs minimum pricing for alcohol

Drinks producer and pub company Fuller’s has backed a minimum price for alcohol, a move that puts the London Pride owner at odds with much of the drinks industry.

Michael Turner, chairman of the West London-based firm, says it supports the coalition Government’s plans to ban below cost selling but also “urges” them to look at minimum pricing.

“Anything else is unlikely to make a significant difference to the harm done by irresponsibly priced alcohol. We look forward to the enactment of meaningful legislation and to a duty regime that is fair and fit for purpose,” he says.

Fuller’s’ position contrasts with that of industry body The Portman Group, which claims minimum pricing would unfairly penalise the majority of responsible drinkers.

The majority of retailers have also rejected minimum pricing. However, Tesco recently announced it would “stand ready to support” the Government if it was to “opt for” a minimum unit price for all beers, wines, ciders and spirits.

Morrisons is not thought to back minimum pricing but yesterday (10 June) proposed a new law to tackle the misuse of alcohol.

In a letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May, the supermarket called for a ban on the sale of alcohol “at a price below the prevailing rates of duty and VAT”.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has not yet revealed its position on minimum pricing but has talked about the need to “review alcohol taxation and pricing”. In the Queen’s Speech, ministers confirmed plans to ban the sale of alcohol below cost price.

However, the Government’s health advisers, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recently endorsed minimum pricing.

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