BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday September 21, 2018 – The West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA), the umbrella association that represents regional distillers associations, is launching an initiative to promote responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.
“We believe, and current regulatory advice maintains, that responsible drinking remains a valued and enjoyable part of life in a modern society,” said Komal Samaroo, Chairman of WIRSPA and of Demerara Distillers Limited. “Notwithstanding, we cannot ignore the negative impact on our societies caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol.”
He added that while individual producers are active at the national level in supporting efforts to reduce harmful drinking, the group intends to intensify these efforts starting this year.
“In this regard we have established a task force to look at a range of issues including labelling, advertising and promotion, and online marketing, incorporating international best practice. We will also encourage and support actions to reduce driving under the influence of alcohol and drinking by underage and vulnerable persons,” he said.
Managing Director of Mount Gay Distilleries and Head of the Barbados Rum Distillers Committee, Raphael Grisoni, said rum producers had a responsibility to ensure their products are “promoted, sold and consumed in a way that is not harmful to health.”
A public statement issued by the grouping in July, strongly condemned alcohol abuse and acknowledged the impact of inappropriate consumption of alcohol on both individuals and society.