Industry stakeholders celebrate Enjoy Responsibly Day

Industry stakeholders celebrate Enjoy Responsibly Day

Monday, December 07, 2020

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IN what was described as a powerful demonstration of cooperation, local alcohol companies joined forces on December 3 to push the message of responsible consumption on Enjoy Responsibly (ER) Day. The group, dubbed the Jamaica Beer, Wine and Spirits Network, came together for a celebration of moderation to promote responsible drinking and reduce underage access and consumption.

ER Day, which got a ringing endorsement from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, was executed by Red Stripe, with support from the Spirits Pool Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Biscuit Company and PepsiCo. Stakeholders echoed the value of using a ‘whole of society approach’, establishing multi-sectoral gatekeepers to help reduce alcohol misuse.

“The truth is, many parents facilitate this access to alcohol as a rite of passage. They send the child to the shop to buy the flask of rum — no ID needed and no questions asked,” said Dianne Ashton-Smith, head of corporate affairs at Red Stripe.

“As an alcohol company, we know the critical role we can play together with the public sector, civil society and private stakeholders to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol and promote an understanding of responsible drinking. That is why it is important for us to highlight the risks of alcohol consumption, especially those that come with underage drinking,” she added.

To make the message more accessible and relatable, Red Stripe partnered with The Ashe Company to produce three short films dubbed Pon Anoda Level that encourage parents to speak to their children about alcohol. The episodic series presents solutions for a family that must deal with rising tensions because of one member’s irresponsible behaviour. The videos will be packaged with a facilitator’s guide as ‘The Parents Movement Electronic Kit’, which will be distributed to Parent Teachers Associations across Jamaica through the education ministry’s regional network.

Spirits Pool Association of Jamaica and J Wray & Nephew Chairman Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence pointed to the industry’s broader commitment to work to reduce underage drinking, the excessive consumption of alcohol and drink driving.

“We have not settled at doing just the minimum required. For the last several months the alcohol industry has been actively working behind the scenes with a goal of promoting and developing further initiatives, keeping in mind world trends pending legislative and policy changes locally,” Lawrence said.

ER Day also created a platform for the relaunch of Red Stripe’s We-ID programme, which aims to equip retailers across the island with the necessary communication tools and practice ID checks before selling or serving alcohol. The programme is another element of Red Stripe’s plan to promote a shift to a culture of responsibility and accountability for the trade.

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