|We must do more to fight "Ayotallahs" in health sector, warns Vinexpo's Robert Beynat|
|Written by Richard Siddle|
|Sunday, 19 June 2011 16:42|
The global wine industry needs to ensure it does everything it can to take the "fight to the Ayotollahs" in the health sector that are threatening to restrict the responsible way in which it sells and promotes its wines, according to Robert Beynat, chief executive of Vinexpo.\
He pointed to the "excellent" example of the work being done in the UK by Jeremy Beadles and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association in tackling the big health issues and taking the argument to the powerful anti-alcohol health lobby.
He said, in comparison, southern Europe had a lot to learn from the UK and needed to do more to get across the responsibility message. It also needed to do more to win the argument in countries such as France where stringent rules governing alcohol advertising was seriously limiting what drinks companies can do to even educate people around responsible drinking. "We need to push more to try and change the law," he said.
It was hard, however, for the wine industry to work as one on the issue around the world. "In Europe countries will have to solve their own problems. Like with the WSTA in the UK."
But it is important it also plays its part in educating consumers in emerging markets such as Asia. "I saw, for example, for the first time a message by the road in Hong Kong warning drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving."