Wine Victoria Chairman, Damien Sheehan has stated this assertion as ludicrous and a desperate attempt at headline grabbing by the foundation.
"It seems the basis of FARE’s media statements has relied on a marketing article in a US magazine and a presentation at a US conference, as the evidence base for its statements about industry" Mr Sheehan said.
“Based on these sources, the FARE has wrongly drawn the conclusion that the Australian alcohol industry has identified its most important customers as heavy drinkers”.
Wine Victoria and the Winemakers Federation of Australia advocate to industry on the need to promote responsible drinking behavior amongst consumers. Our advice is based on the foremost authority on evidence based health policy in Australia: the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports overall, per-capita consumption of alcohol in Australia is at its lowest point in more than 45 years. It is clear from the ABS data that there is a positive trend where Australia is moving toward a moderate drinking culture.
While FARE continues to press for population-wide measures, their report contradicts their claims, what their report actually demonstrates is that a targeted policy response for at-risk consumers is required.
“In their report FARE has simply tried to force a conclusion to fit a theory beyond any strong conclusions. To think that this report has any contribution to evidence based public policy is a stretch,”Mr Sheehan said.
Wine Victoria will continue to work with governments in the short and long term to promote the responsible consumption of wine.