Tuesday 25th May sees the launch of the first-ever global standards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol beverages. This international initiative is focused on supporting consumers’ increasing demands for greater convenience with enhanced standards of responsibility to prevent sale to those underage and to reduce harmful drinking.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of hospitality venues in most countries throughout 2020 resulted in global alcohol sales volumes declining by more than 6% year on year in 2020, there has been an acceleration in the shift to e-commerce with the sale and delivery of alcohol online increasing by 33% globally.
In response to this trend, a global partnership of the 12 leading beer, wine, and spirits companies that form the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) (inside.beer, 29.1.2021) and 14 prominent global and regional online retailers, and e-commerce and delivery platforms have identified five key safeguards to help ensure that robust standards are in place throughout the entire supply chain and customer journey to combat harmful drinking.
“We have agreed these new global safeguards, marking a worldfirst coalition to prevent the online sale and delivery of alcohol to those underage and to reduce harmful drinking among adults,” says Albert Baladi, President and CEO Beam Suntory and Chairman of the IARD. “Our safeguards recognize the interconnectedness between online retailers, e-commerce platforms, and delivery platforms and accordingly establish global standards of responsibility for alcohol e-commerce across the entire length of the supply chain – starting from the moment a consumer begins the purchase process, travelling all the way through to the end, when a delivery is only made to an appropriate recipient.”
The standards outlined in the document launched today include:
- Improving safeguards and security measures that aim to prevent minors from being able to buy alcohol
- Putting in place mechanisms to prevent beer, wine, and spirits being delivered to minors, to individuals showing visible signs of intoxication, or where prohibited by law
- Providing tools, information, and education, or other support to drivers to empower them to deny delivery
- Enhancing consumer information and control
- Promoting global standards as a resource to support the development of national level codes and practices for the online sale and delivery of alcohol that build on local and national regulation
The full details of the standards can be found here.