Wednesday 10 August 2022

Raise a pint: beer too cheap, says alcohol policy institute   

Grolsch may be going Japanese. Photo:

Grolsch has a fixed price ‘on principle’. Photo:

Beer is too cheap and needs a minimum price, according to the Dutch institute for alcohol policy, STAP.

Director Win van Dalen told RTL Nieuws on Friday that weekly supermarket offers are selling beers for ‘ridiculous prices’ such as a crate for less than €5, or 20 cents a bottle.

He said introducing a minimum price could drastically reduce alcohol abuse since his body believes such low prices attract young people and problem drinkers, with the result of alcoholism, crime and absenteeism.

STAP cites six recent studies it says demonstrate a minimum price is the best solution, with drinks priced according to their alcohol percentage – and that crate of 24 bottles at around €8.50.

A Bavaria spokesman told RTL Nieuws that it’s not mad on supermarket promotions, saying they don’t benefit the brand, but that ‘in a highly-competitive beer market, we as a relatively small operator are compelled to (partly) go along with them.’ Grolsch said it has a fixed price ‘on principle.’

But even if Dutch MPS voted for such a law, it might not mean cheers for dear beers.

Scotland’s government implemented legislation for a minimum price on alcohol in 2012 – at 50p per unit – but a European court ruled last year that this breached EU free-trade rules after a legal battle led by the Scotch Whisky Association.

The case has now returned to the domestic courts but the Scottish government still believes that there is ‘strong international evidence that tackling price – as part of a package of measures, including education and diversion – can help reduce alcohol consumption and related harm.’

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