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‘Global Standards Coalition promoting moderation among those who choose to drink’

For millions of adults across the world, enjoying beer, wine and spirits in moderation is an important part of their social lives.

The NZ Alcohol Beverages Council (NZABC) is a member of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and supports the first-ever global alliance of its kind, the IARD Global Standards Coalition.

This brings together more than 80 organisations around the world who have joined to show they are united in further accelerating reductions in the harmful use of alcohol and promote moderation among those who choose to drink.

This ground-breaking alliance includes IARD member companies and other private sector organisations across the retail, e-commerce, marketing and advertising, and hospitality sectors, plus sports bodies and digital platforms. In New Zealand this includes Asahi, DB Breweries, Lion NZ and Pernod Ricard.

Members of IARD’s Global Standard Coalition stand for:

We firmly believe beer, wine, and spirits are adult drinks and oppose the marketing and sale of alcohol beverages to those below the legal purchase age.

We put in place policies and practices to prevent marketing or sale of alcohol beverages to those below the legal purchase age.

We equip our employees and partners with training and information to promote responsible business practices.

We support and recognize those adults who choose not to drink alcohol. We work together to enhance safeguards and further raise standards to address the harmful use of alcohol.

IARD will assist the coalition by helping to showcase practices and develop resources to support others to act.

“We are supportive of the coalition aims to generate innovative ideas and share best practices to help further accelerate downward trends in harmful use of alcohol locally, nationally, and internationally”, says NZABC executive director Virginia Nicholls.

“This provides an opportunity for the private sector to show their unique contribution towards reducing harmful drinking and in promoting moderation among those who choose to drink”, said Virginia.

Although there are reductions in harmful drinking across the world, these trends are not universal. By bringing together partners from across the value chain, this coalition provides an opportunity to share good practices and accelerate trends.

In New Zealand the annual Health Survey tells us that 81% of NZ adults – four out of five of us – are drinking beer, wine and spirits responsibly. [1: Health NZ Survey Nov 22: 81% of us drink in a responsible way, (18.8% of us drink in a hazardous way). This is a decrease of 2.1% on hazardous drinkers in the past 5 years.]

New Zealanders are also drinking more than 25% less now than we did in the late 1970s. Fewer under 18s are drinking alcohol and those who do are drinking less hazardously . [2: Total NZ population 15 years and over total alcohol, 12 litres per person in 1978 – 8.5 litres per person year ended September 2023. StatsNZ Infoshare. ][3: In 2022 fewer young people were drinking than previously, and those who were drinking were doing so less hazardously, with 57.1% of 15 to 17 year olds having had alcohol in the past year – a decrease of 17.4% (74.5%) on 2006/07. According to the NZ Youth 2000 survey an increasing proportion of secondary school students are also choosing not to drink. The proportion of secondary students who have never drunk alcohol increased markedly from 26% in 2007, to 45% in 2019. ]

IARD has recently produced a report on ‘actions to prevent underage drinking’. They have also provided free resources for retail staff and servers, to help serve and deliver alcohol responsibly. These resources are intended to complement, rather than replace existing material and to provide guidance where nothing is in place. [4: IARD’s report on Actions to Prevent Underage Drinking (October 2023): 04102023-Actions-to-prevent-underage-drinking-brochure.pdf (iard.org) ][5: IARD launches resources for retail staff and servers to help prevent sale of alcohol beverages to minors – International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, September 2023]


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