What is the Wine in Moderation programme
The Wine in Moderation programme (‘the Programme') is the European wine sector's measurable commitment to implement an effective and specific contribution to the reduction of alcohol-related harm, founded on science based information, broad based education and sector self-regulation. The Programme represents the wine sector's contribution to the European Commission's Alcohol and Health Forum within the framework of the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol related harm . The Alcohol and Health Forum, of which the wine sector is an active participant, aims to coordinate participating actors so successful endeavours can be shared with potential partners across the EU.
and how will it work?
The Programme is an initiative of the combined European wine sector. Its objective is to promote responsibility in consumption of wine and wine products, support the message of wine as a premium product to be savoured slowly and in moderation, and to educate stakeholders and the public about the social and health risks of excessive consumption and misuse, while encouraging cultural change in the approach to consuming alcohol, and making moderation fashionable. The Programme aims to mobilise the whole European wine sector in building partnerships with stakeholders at supranational (EU), national and local levels, as well as complementing and supporting national initiatives already in place.
Drinking patterns are deeply rooted in and across different European cultures, which, combined with tradition, may make the pace of change very slow. Indeed in certain cultures, excessive or binge drinking is not considered socially abnormal or unacceptable. That is why sustainable and long-term initiatives to tackle harmful drinking must be positive and tailored locally and designed to highlight moderation and responsibility in the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a social norm. While the challenge may be great, the goal is ultimately attainable because although certain cultures experience more alcohol-related problems than others, moderate, problem-free drinking is indeed the general social norm in Europe. The issue being addressed is hazardous and harmful consumption, not consumption in and of itself.
In response to the need for broad research on social and cultural aspects of drinking in Europe, an EU Wine Information Council (WIC) is being developed in coordination with European authorities. The WIC aims to:
By assuming leadership in communicating moderation and responsibility in wine consumption as a cultural norm, the wine sector will help prevent alcohol abuse and misuse by enabling young people and adults to make responsible decisions. This will be achieved in partnership and cooperation with competent authorities and other stakeholders interested in reducing harmful alcohol-related activities. From this Common Message of moderation, key elements will be extracted and employed in targeted communication materials, including a corporate-style information brochure and an educational ‘art de vivre’ or life-skills presentation, for use with persons of all ages. These materials will cover topics like healthy attitudes towards wine, the risks associated with hazardous and harmful consumption, and the legal environment.
- Share "best practices" across the European wine sector organisations in the EU member states;
- Develop a process and structure for a central Wine Information Database to:
- Coordinate the information flow between the various national and local Wine and Health / Social Aspects Associations, ensuring that information is commonly available for use by any stakeholder
- Consolidate all relevant information based on sound science
- Stimulate additional research carried out by independent, credible researchers on aspects of interest and/or concern
Central to promoting the message of moderation and responsibility in sensible consumption is the "Art de Vivre" education programme, which involves:
- Active education of industry and consumers to encourage cultural change in the approach to consuming alcoholic beverages, making moderation fashionable
- Educating consumers who appreciate wine to do so moderately and responsibly, as part of a healthy lifestyle
- Familiarising consumers with the risks of abuse and misuse and the benefits of moderate consumption of wine to allow them to make informed and responsible decisions.
Last but not least, the European wine sector is a strong advocate of responsible commercial communication. Common sense should govern all forms of commercial communications to consumers. The wine sector reaffirms its commitment to all forms of wine marketing promoting the message of moderation. No communication should target people under the legal drinking age or provide misleading information.
To this end, the European wine sector has defined a set of Wine Communication Standards specific to commercial communications on wine and wine products . These standards build on existing national self-regulation codes aimed at reinforcing the traditions of presentation, communication and availability to consumers, inducing moderation and responsibility in the consumption of wine. They also lay out a series of recommendations governing commercial practices and communications. Guidelines for how to use the message of moderation and responsibility in the consumption of wine will also be established.