Demonstrating that Grenada’s alcohol industry can effectively self-regulate and commit to Codes of Practice to address public concerns or to remove offensive advertisements/products in a timely manner are among the objectives of the Grenada Beverage Alcohol Alliance which was launched today.
A non-profit alliance of alcohol beverage producers, distributors and marketers the mission of grouping is to reduce alcohol-related harm through combating the misuse and abuse of alcohol products. The core objective is to promote the responsible distribution, sale and consumption of beverage alcohol products.
According to Ruel Edwards of Grenada Distillers the coming together of the companies involved in the alcohol beverage business is in keeping with a 2010 request from the World Health Organisation pertaining to the alcohol and alcohol related harm.
In 2010, the Sixty-Third World Health Assembly approved a Global Strategy for alcohol. The Global Strategy requested the Director General “to monitor progress in implementing the global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol and to report progress, through the Executive Board, to the Sixty-sixth  World Health Assembly”.
Edwards said that two areas of the Global Strategy are relevant to the alcohol industry. These are: The establishment of a framework for self-regulation and to make specific provision for the engagement of producers of beverage alcohol and other “economic operators”.
“In support of this Global Strategy, Economic Operators (industry) have undertaken to: Accelerate efforts to establish national alcohol beverage alliances; Put into effect National Codes of Conduct for the advertising and marketing of beverage alcohol product and Promote implementation of the Global Strategy by supporting and contributing to feasible and effective policies that reduce harmful drinking,” he said.
A news release from the Alliance said that the GBAA has finalised two core documents which will underpin the functioning and activities of the Alliance. They are an Advertising and Marketing Code of Conduct, which will provide operational and procedural guidance to those in the industry; and a Terms of Reference for the GBAA Code Review Board.
“The Code Review Board shall have representation from professionals, who are independent of the beverage alcohol industry. Members of the Code Review Board will be responsible for reviewing complaints and enquiries about advertising and marketing materials utilised by members of GBAA,” said the release.
Besides Grenada Distillers the other core companies spearheading that he Alliance initiative are Grenada Breweries and Westerhall Estates. Other companies who have indicated an interest are: Independence Agency; Gittens Agencies; Bryden & Minors; and Geo F Huggins & Co.
The launch took place at The Grenadian by Rex Resorts at 5:00pm.