Carlsberg Welcomes Government’s plans for new rules on the sale of alcohol


THE chief executive of Northampton-based brewing giant Carlsberg has welcomed the Government’s plans for new rules on the sale of alcohol.

Dr Isaac Sheps, speaking during a visit to the Bridge Street brewery on Friday by Tory MP Michael Ellis, said much more needed to be done to tackle excessive drinking.

He said: “We are very much in support of responsible drinking. We are one of the founders of the Portman Group which promotes responsible drinking and we have a code for responsible marketing. We are also supporters of the Drinkaware group.

“But we do believe in a free market and feel irresponsible drinking is dealt with best in society. Restrictions will effect moderate drinkers and drinking in the UK is getting more and more expensive. The duty tax is too high and if you are dependent on drinking you will keep drinking. It is moderate drinkers who will feel it.

“What needs to be done is for excessive drinking to be made socially unacceptable, in the way drink-driving has been. Social influence is the strongest way to reach young people.”

Northampton North MP Michael Ellis was given a tour of the brewery, which produces 1,600 cans and 1,000 bottles per minute, and is the second largest brewery in the UK.

He said: “The Government is to implement rules on the cost of alcohol so retailers are no longer going to be allowed to sell alcohol below cost price. This move has been taken to improve social responsibility in consumption of alcohol. We are also going to come down harder on those who sell alcohol to underage people, with those found to be doing this facing fines of up to £20,000.”

Following plans to close the Carlsberg brewery in Leeds, the Northampton site, which employs more than 450 people, is set to expand and increase capacity by 50 per cent.

Mr Ellis was shown many of the brewery’s green initiatives which have won it environmental accolades. Last October Carlsberg UK won a Green Apple Award for environmental best practice and managed to hit its target of reducing the amount of waste its sends to landfill to zero.

Karl Douglas, brewery director, said: “We recycle everything. Waste recycling across here has grown from 60 per cent to 85 per cent over the last year - and the remaining 15 per cent is incinerated and used to generate energy.”