In another initiative to ensure alcohol is sold responsibly, especially to young people, The Trusts have signed up to a voluntary code of conduct, to only sell RTDs with an alcohol content less than 8% and; to participate in industry initiatives to tackle binge drinking.
Already leaders in refusing to sell legal highs, and having almost foolproof systems to prevent sales to minors, The Trusts have joined a number of other big players in signing a Voluntary Industry Code that governs not only the alcohol content but also the caffeine content and the way RTDs are marketed. It also includes seeking ways to modify the New Zealand drinking culture.
Signing up to the code means The Trusts will no longer sell (some variants of) their biggest selling brands of RTDs but CEO Simon Wickham says that this “cannot be weighed against doing what we can, to protect young people who are the predominant purchasers of RTDs.”
Signatories agree not to produce or sell RTDs with an alcohol by volume content of more than 7% and caffeine (or equivalent) content greater than acceptable in cola drinks. They also agree not to market RTDs specifically to young drinkers, and not to market the effects of caffeine.
In a stunning exercise of social responsibility, they also agree to: “work proactively to improve the drinking culture in New Zealand and help minimise harmful consumption, through industry funded initiatives.”
They also agree to enforce compliance among signatories who were, at the time of writing: The Trusts, Bacardi New Zealand Holdings, Beam Inc, Brown-Forman, Diageo, Hancocks, Independent Liquor, Lion, Moet-Hennessey, Pernod Ricard New Zealand and The Rum Company (NZ).