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Standards guide for sale of alcohol online developed

Online alcohol retailers will now have to adhere to a set of standards to guide the sale and delivery of alcohol in efforts aimed to minimize risks to consumers.

The standards have been developed in response to the acceleration in the shift towards e-commerce in the sale and delivery of alcohol with new data from Euromonitor International, showing that e-commerce grew by 33 percent globally, even as alcohol sales reduced by six percent.

Two companies operating in Kenya are among the coalition of organizations that worked to develop the global e-commerce standards.

Key developer of these standards is The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking that has recommended that online retailers verify the age of buyers and prevent deliveries to minors or intoxicated buyers under the new self-regulatory standards.

The first-ever standards were developed in partnership with 14 prominent global and regional online retailers, and e-commerce and delivery platforms.

The consortium further recommends that traders work with agents to educate drinkers as well as monitor the implementation of the standards.

IARD’s Chief Executive Officer, Henry Ashworth, said IARD is proud to have united the world’s leading drinks producers with leading online retailers and e-commerce platforms to enhance safeguards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol.

“The increase in e-commerce, home deliveries and consumption has spurred expansion of the formats, and now more beers are available in cans, as well as partnerships with e-commerce platforms,” he said.

Other standard outlined in the document include improving safeguards and security measures that aim to prevent minors from being able to buy alcohol, enhancing consumer information and control and 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.

Kenya Breweries Limited Managing, Director John Musunga, said the standards by IARD reflect the sentiments of the company and the work it has been doing locally since Coronavirus pandemic shifted operations.

“The e-commerce explosion has played a significant role in growing off-trade contributions and we realized early on the need for online retailers to adhere to certain standards. Minors should not drink alcohol and we have been working in partnership with online retailers and delivery platforms to improve safeguards to help prevent online alcohol sale and delivery to minors,” Musunga said.

The published standards came on a day when the world was celebrating ‘No Tobacco Day’ under the theme, ‘Commit to Quit,’ with a new report by the International Tobacco Control detailing that most smokeless tobacco users do not notice the health risk warnings.

“Only 12 percent of smokeless tobacco users reported noticing health warnings “often” on smokeless tobacco,” says the Report released by the Ministry of Health.

By Alice Gworo




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