Audit demonstrates the effectiveness of self-regulation at member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry
An audit conducted by Makery Oy reveals that self-regulation guidelines are being closely followed by member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry. The Federation’s members – Hartwall, Momentin Group, Olvi, Red Bull Finland, Saimaan Juomatehdas and Sinebrychoff – have undertaken to follow stricter self-regulation guidelines than those laid down by law. These guidelines have now been audited for the first time.
The audit focused on the marketing of mild alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. Particular attention was paid to complying with and enforcing age restrictions in marketing. The audit also assessed the conformity of labelling on mild alcoholic beverage packaging. The comprehensive labelling found on soft drinks and mineral waters is based on legal requirements.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry has also made recommendations to its member companies on the labelling of alcoholic beverages: a list of ingredients (since 2005) and legally compliant nutrition facts (since 2008). The law does not require alcoholic beverages to be labelled, but if they are, the labels must conform with the Food Act. Nutrition fact labels show the energy content and the quantities of fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, protein and salt. Labelling for alcoholic beverages can be limited to just the energy content.
According to the audit, Federation member companies successfully provided energy contents and lists of ingredients for alcoholic beverages on both single and multipacks. One area for development is the provision of other nutritional information (in addition to energy content) on websites.
Member companies of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry are committed to complying with the brewing industry’s guidelines on responsible marketing communications for alcoholic beverages and, in the marketing of soft drinks, the Code of Practice Guidelines issued by the European umbrella organisation Unesda.
The audit showed that all member companies were aware of the self-regulation guidelines for marketing, had a thorough knowledge of their content, and also adhered to them closely. One essential aspect of this self-regulation is to have all television commercials vetted by the preliminary inspection committee – an external, non-Federation organisation – before being broadcast. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry also organises annual training on the self-regulation guidelines for the advertising of alcoholic beverages. The audit deemed this training to be beneficial.
Compliance with age restrictions in marketing was one significant aspect covered by the audit. Many member companies use advertising agencies that provide accurate information about age distributions in different channels. Advertising agencies therefore play an important role in complying with age restrictions.
“Member companies have already been committed to self-regulation for many years, and we intend to make this audit a regular thing. The advertiser is always responsible for compliance with the law, which is why it’s important for member companies to pay attention to this and create a set of practices with advertising agencies to ensure that they always act correctly in all situations,” says Elina Ussa, Managing Director of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry.
An external audit of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry’s self-regulation guidelines was conducted for the first time. Makery Oy performed the audit in autumn 2017.
Managing Director Elina Ussa, tel. +358 (0)45 269 7711
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The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry promotes the interests of producers of beer, cider, long drinks, soft drinks and mineral waters in Finland. Its members are Oy Hartwall Ab, Momentin Group Oy, Olvi Oyj, Red Bull Finland Oy, Saimaan Juomatehdas, and Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry is a member of the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation.