The Alcoholic Beverages Alliance of the Philippines (ABAPI) has signed a pledge for the responsible sale of wines and spirits online in partnership with most of the leading e-commerce platforms across the country.
The voluntary industry pledge aims to put safeguards in place across e-commerce platforms to uphold the responsible sales of alcohol online under the principle of self-governance with a strong focus on preventing minors from purchasing liquor online.
Signatories include members of ABAPI—an organization comprised of the leading international alcohol beverage producers, as well as importers and distributors in the country such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Moët Hennessy and Brown-Forman—owners of alcohol brands such as Johnnie Walker, Absolut Vodka, Hennessy and Jack Daniels. On the other hand, platforms that signed the responsible alcohol e-commerce pledge include Lazada Philippines, Liquor.ph, The Booze Shop, Manila Wine, Winery.ph, Singlemalt.ph and Alcoline/Clink.ph.
“This pledge marks a significant milestone in achieving a responsible e-retailing environment for alcohol. Our member- companies actively advocate for responsible drinking and take our obligation to sell and market our products responsibly very seriously. We commit to develop all possible safeguards to ensure that our products do not end up in the hands of minors. The pledge is the right step to ensuring a safe e-commerce environment and will give us the opportunity to learn from each other and share best practices,” said Kavita Hans, Chairperson of ABAPI and General Manager of Diageo Philippines.
Alcohol sales on e-commerce platforms has seen a growth spike over the past several months due to quarantine restrictions and reduced operations of bars and restaurants caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABAPI member-companies pledge to encourage online retailers to put safeguards in place to prevent minors from purchasing liquor through e-commerce. This includes sharing industry best practices and helping e-retailers in terms of training and capacity-building. The pledge promotes responsible practices in the online sale and delivery of alcohol and encompasses not only producers and e-retailers but the entire chain including third-party logistics and delivery companies. It is open to other stakeholders that share the same responsibility values and intend to contribute and commit to the responsible e-commerce of alcohol.
“Leading alcohol and online retailers worldwide have committed to work together to develop and enhance safeguards to protect minors from online alcohol sales and deliveries. This pledge is our way of making the global commitment more relevant in the Philippines. We are delighted to partner with leading online retailers and e-commerce platforms in the country in this ground-breaking coalition to enhance standards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol, said John O’Sullivan, President of ABAPI and Managing Director of Pernod Ricard Philippines.
Online platforms, for their part, pledge to promote responsible drinking by putting warning messages or prompts, adopt age-screening processes and other safeguards to reduce the risk of minors having access to liquor.
“We are committed to improving access and enjoyment of quality wine in the Philippines–which includes ensuring the safe consumption of our products by responsible adults. By joining the pledge, we gain a coherent framework of policies and standards to ensure the responsible online sale and delivery of alcohol products, and minimize the risk of underage drinking,” said Chris Urbano, Chairman of Winery.ph
All signatories also commit to support the sale of legitimate in online channels by providing a channel for partners to report sellers of counterfeit, illegal or unauthorized alcohol products.
The responsible alcohol e-commerce pledge in the Philippines is an offshoot of global efforts to create a safe and properly regulated marketplace for alcohol products. Last January, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD), an organization comprised of 12 of the biggest beer, wine and spirits producers in the world, signed a partnership with online retailers, as well as e-commerce and delivery platforms such as Grab, JD.com and Uber Eats to establish robust global standards for the online sale and delivery of alcohol beverages. This alliance follows the signing of a joint global pledge in 2019 by IARD, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube to put in place further safeguards to prevent minors from seeing advertising by beer, wine, and spirits brands in digital platforms. These safeguards include ramping-up age screening and giving users the choice to block alcohol-related marketing online.