The LGA is supportive of measures to provide greater clarity for consumers around terms used to describe the alcohol content of products, and for there to be consistency in the use of terms used to describe low alcohol products.
- Our view is that further detail is needed in terms of the status of any guidance produced, and who would be responsible for enforcing it, before a decision is made to adopt this approach.
- Additionally, if a decision is made to replace regulation with guidance, Government should ensure that there are no new burdens for local authorities.
- The LGA does not have any additional evidence to support the case for introducing new descriptors for products above 1.2% ABV, however we are supportive of encouraging growth in the production of low strength products and increasing the level of choice for consumers as a way to reduce the overall number of units consumed.
- We are aware that there has been some work undertaken by technical experts to explore low alcohol labelling, and feel it is for these experts to advise on the future labelling regime in terms of descriptors.
- In the context of Brexit, it is important to ensure that products produced in the UK can compete on a level playing field with those produced abroad, and that rules around labelling do not act as a barrier to trade.
- The process of reviewing existing legislation around labelling could be an opportunity to align descriptors used for lower strength products in the UK with those used elsewhere.