Liquor manufacturers enact code to drive up ethical marketing

Liquor manufacturers enact code to drive up ethical marketing
ABAK members during the signing of the industry code of conduct

In response to the rising cases of under-age drinking, driving under the influence and the sale of illegitimate alcohol, major alcoholic makers have signed on a code of conduct to tackle the menace surrounding the liquor trade in Kenya.

The new self-regulating undertaking by the Alcohol Beverages Association of Kenya (ABAK) sets a unique standard for the promotion of responsible drinking via ethical channels.

ABAK said the code of conduct would help resolve the prevailing challenges in alcohol manufacturing by complimenting the existing laws and guidelines as prescribed under government’s regulations for the sector.

Speaking during the signing of the code on Thursday, ABAK Secretary Eric Kiniti said the self regulation model would help to drive forward sound marketing practices to prevent the misuse of alcohol by consumers.

“We want to drive communication that discourages minors from taking up alcohol and drink-driving. What we are trying to do is to ensure that we communicate on how to package information meant for consumers in a manner that does not promote the misuse of alcohol,” Mr Kiniti said.

Mr Kiniti further added that he expected the self-regulating procedure to help inform government in making future policy decisions.

“We are expecting the government to recognize and appreciate that we are taking the fore-front in responsible marketing in terms of developing regulations. If it is taken into consideration, this will help us in having a better say in the regulation of the market,” he added.

Entertainment joints have joined in on the move by backing the promotion of ethical marketing standards in the liquor space, promising to work alongside manufacturers to meet the objectives of the code of conduct.

Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) National Chairman Patrick Muya said the guidelines would help change the negative perceptions about liquor sellers in the country.

“Some sections of our population have viewed us as illegal businesses, the code will therefore help in reducing the tag on the liquor industry,” Mr Muya said.

The alcoholic beverages sector remains among the heavily regulated industries in Kenya.

The industry is amongst the highest grossing sectors for government contributing to about Sh33 billion in revenues on a year on year basis.

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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