Coles Liquor partners with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking

MEDIA RELEASE 25.05.2021

Coles has joined a coalition of the world’s largest beer, wine and spirits companies to promote new global standards aimed at reducing harmful use of alcohol and preventing underage drinking by the online sale of alcohol.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to addressing harmful drinking worldwide and promoting understanding of responsible drinking. The IARD is supported by its member companies from all sectors of the regulated alcohol industry – beer, wine, and spirits – in their common purpose of being part of the solution to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.

Coles Liquor Chief Executive Darren Blackhurst said Coles takes the responsible sale of alcohol seriously and through the IARD Coles would work with industry stakeholders to promote best practice measures throughout its online business.

“Most people consume alcohol in a sensible and responsible manner however we are committed to harm minimisation initiatives that reduce excessive consumption,” he said.

“We saw a change in customer behaviour during Covid-19 and continue to see strong performance in eCommerce, so we have worked to adopt best practice safety protocols online and are pleased to join the IARD to share information on global initiatives and drive further improvement across the industry in partnership with suppliers and other stakeholders.”

Coles has led the Australian liquor market in the responsible service of alcohol and is committed to harm minimisation measures that address the misuse and abuse of alcohol.

IARD President and CEO Henry Ashworth said the Alliance was pleased to partner with Coles and other leading global regional retailers, eCommerce and delivery platforms.

“Together with the twelve leading alcohol producers they have worked tirelessly to enhance safeguards and set global standards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol, taking further steps to prevent underage sale to minors and prevent harmful drinking,” Mr Ashworth said.

“We look forward to working with Coles and other Australian partners to embed these responsibility standards in Australia and across the globe.”

Coles Liquor is a founding member of DrinkWise, an independent, not-for-profit organisation whose primary focus is to help bring about a healthier, safer and more responsible drinking culture in Australia.

Coles Liquor is also a signatory to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code and is committed to industry best practice in the advertising of alcohol.

With the growth in demand for online delivery, Coles is proud to be a signatory to the world leading Retail Drinks Australia Code of Conduct for online sales and introduced specific measures to ensure sales are made responsibly, including:

  • No unattended same day delivery.
  • No unattended standard delivery for new customers or guest checkouts.
  • No deliveries made to a public place in an alcohol-free zone or a prohibited or restricted area (e.g. dry communities).
  • Delivery agents or employees are not financially penalised for not completing a delivery or refusing to make a same day delivery on the grounds that they consider the recipient is under 18 years old, is intoxicated or was unable to verify the recipient’s identity.
  • Records of refused deliveries are kept for at least one year.
  • A Self-Exclusion Programme where customers can voluntarily opt out of delivery services.
  • Safe drop principles employed to ensure deliveries are not made in locations which may be considered at risk (e.g. schools).

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