Alcohol industry and related vested interest

Global alcohol producers and their global brands of beer, spirits and wine are expanding to every corner of the world, searching for growth in emerging markets that are key to maximizing future profits. The enormous market power exercised by those global companies easily translates into political power on the state and global levels.  That power may be a formidable force impeding progress in the fight to reduce and prevent NCD.  As WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan said at the Health for All Conference in Helsinki in 2013, “Efforts to prevent non-communicable diseases go against the business interests of powerful economic operators. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges facing health promotion.”

SPECTRUM report front page

New report exposes unhealthy industry responses to COVID-19

The report, ‘Signalling Virtue, Promoting Harm’ released recently provides ample examples of how unhealthy commodity industries, alcohol included, have leveraged COVID-19 for commercial gain.

22. September 2020
Commercial alcohol poster, Kampala Uganda

Opinion:

Covid-19 shows us why certain investments of the Norwegian oil fund is unethical

The Covid-19 pandemic shows us why the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (the oil fund) must stop investing in alcohol. In South Africa the strict alcohol regulations during the pandemic have led to startling results.

03. September 2020
CoverLAC report 2020

Report on the industry’s commercial and political activities in the region

Alcohol industry influence exposed in Latin America and the Caribbean

In recognition of the fact that in Latin America and the Caribbean the harmful use of alcohol is one of the leading risk factors for death and disability, the report acknowledges that "alcohol does not receive due attention and action" (foreword). The report is a contribution to bringing about this due attention by pointing to the role of the alcohol industry in influencing regional policies that affect public health and social welfare.

03. September 2020
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SAAPA applauds WHO position on no industry collaboration

SAAPA warmly welcomes the recent news about the World Health Organization and its position on alcohol industry involvement in the process of developing alcohol policies: WHO will not consult with or enter into partnerships with the alcohol industry

25. April 2019
Forside Heineken in Africa

New book reveals a series of unethical business practices by Heineken in Africa

Collaboration with dictators and an alleged war criminal. Tax avoidance in African countries. High level corruption. Exploitation of weak political systems. High profits on beer sales. The use of “beer girls” to maximize sales.

23. April 2019
Lambrini

Advertising regulations must focus more on alcohol promotion through social media

Regulations on alcohol advertising must to a larger extent focus on exposures in social media, as these media play an increasingly larger role, both in marketing strategies and in young peoples’ lives. This challenge comes from a newly published report in the UK.

31. July 2018
Olivier van Beemen 800p

New book documents Heineken marketing malpractices:

Beer girls are used to promote beer drinking in Africa

Heineken uses so-called beer girls to promote the sales of its beer in ten African countries. A number of them are harassed during their work, have to sleep with managers and prostitute themselves to customers. This is documented in a newly published book by the Dutch journalist Olivier van Beemen.

05. April 2018
Heinekenflaske fra nettet

Global Fund Suspends Partnership with Heineken

The Global Fund has suspended its partnership with the beer company Heineken. “It is based on recent reports of the company’s use of female beer promoters in ways that expose them to sexual exploitation and health risks”, explains the Fund in a brief press statement.

04. April 2018
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Norway objects to Global Fund-Heineken deal

Norwegian board member, Jon Lomøy, in the Global Fund states that Norway cannot support the recently announced partnership between the Fund and Heineken. The statement follows a joint open letter to the Global Fund urging it to end the Heineken deal.

06. February 2018
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Public health advocates urge Global Fund to end Heineken partnership

Concerned over a new partnership between the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and Heineken, three public health networks have recently sent an open joint letter to the Global Fund. They point out the dangers inherent in partnerships with the producers and marketers of hazardous products such as alcohol.

05. February 2018