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drinks yearbook 2009

drinks yearbook | 125 number of signifi cant transactions since late 2008. These include: Suntory’s bid for V-energy parent, Frucor; Lion Nathan’s unsuccessful bid for Coca-Cola Amatil; Asahi Breweries acquisition of Schweppes Australia; and Kirin Brewery securing the 51 per cent of shareholding in Lion Nathan which it didn’t own. Wine transactions have been limited due to tight credit conditions and continued oversupply depressing valuations. A category on notice While the Government is responding to community concerns regarding alcoholic beverage abuse, the plethora of current category reviews, recommendations and potential legislation does position Australia as somewhat as a ‘nanny state’. However, this shouldn’t just be brushed off as meddling by the government. Rather the issues need to be understood as they have the potential to provide a longer term trading framework and impact to-market strategies (both implementation and cost), the top line and licensing. Preventative Health... uncertainties remain The most surprising outcome of the Preventative Health Taskforce Discussion Paper ‘Australia: the healthiest country by 2020’ was the absence of any substantial Federal Government comment post its release on 20 September 2009. To date, no senior Labor ministers have committed to any of the specifi c recommendations, except establishment of a Preventative Health Agency. Given that Labor established the Preventative Health Taskforce and commissioned the discussion paper to provide a blueprint for tackling the burden of chronic disease currently caused by obesity, tobacco and excessive consumption of alcohol, this is unexpected. The discussion paper in general was reasonably balanced with regard to the alcohol and obesity recommendations. However, a key concern is the narrowing of representation with regard to government policy advice. The industry has been excluded from the proposed Preventative Health Agency advisory panel despite the discussion paper advocating a shared responsibility (including industry) to solve health problems and reshape the Australian drinking culture (rather than direct to the consumer). Under this model, government policy advice shifts from a broader mainstream council to a narrower (and potentially less accessible) group. This may have longer term viability and profi tability implications for the category. The Preventative Health Taskforce advocated a multi-pronged strategy for alcohol and the primary


drinks yearbook 2009
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