Home > Sixth compliance report. In accordance with the Code of Practice on the Display and Sale of Alcohol-Products in Mixed Trading Premises for the year to end of September 2014.

White, Padraic (2015) Sixth compliance report. In accordance with the Code of Practice on the Display and Sale of Alcohol-Products in Mixed Trading Premises for the year to end of September 2014. Dublin: Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland.

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Regarding the operations of the Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland (RRAI) over the past twelve months, the key points to note (and which are set out in more detail in the body of this report) are as follows:
• The RRAI’s Membership continues to represent the overwhelming majority of mixed trade retailers in the Republic of Ireland. As noted in the fifth annual compliance report a significant increase in membership occurred in 2013 when the following five mixed trading retail-groups joined the RRAI, Applegreen, Checkout (under the umbrella of Gala), Daybreak (under the umbrella of Musgrave), and Fresh and XL (both under the umbrella of BWG Foods) brought the number of stores operating the Code to 2,594, as compared to 2,315 in 2012.
• As in previous years, the RRAI has continued to implement and monitor its Code of Practice, primarily through the annual independent audit of compliance, and the continued operation of the RRAI’s complaint-mechanisms, particularly the RRAI’s telephone hotline.
• In the great majority of complaints brought to my attention, the Members immediately rectify the cause of the complaint, which is generally a one-off inadvertent breach at store-level. The RRAI Board remain ready to apply the RRAI’s sanctions-policy (see Annex 4) in case of persistent non-compliance by any Member.
• One of the most visible manifestations of the Code-restraints is the rule on newspaper-advertisements for Members, whereby a maximum of 25% of the core advertising-space can be allocated to alcohol-products within any single advertisement. There is now almost universal compliance by RRAI-members with this restriction.
• The RRAI continue to actively engage with the small number of independent mixed traders who are not Members, with a view to such retailers joining the RRAI and/or complying with the RRAI Code of Practice, in the interests of adhering to good practice in the display, advertising and promotion of alcohol-products.
• The anchor-point of the RRAI Code compliance-mechanism is the annual independent national audit carried out by a professional retail-audit company. Due to the increase in the number of Member-stores, the annual audit covered 402 stores in 2014, compared to 361 stores in 2012.
• I am pleased to report that the results of this year’s annual independent audit of compliance (as set out in Part 4 of this report) show an overall compliance-rate of 86.07%. This figure shows an increase of almost 3 percentage points versus the comparable audit in 2013. The multiple-supermarket sector had a compliance rate of 93.68%, and the convenience-store sector compliance-rate was 79.25% showing a significant improvement versus the 2013 result of 73.73%.
• There are three core questions in the audit regarding the in-store physical display of alcohol-products. In this year’s audit, despite the significant increase in new membership to be audited the overall compliance-rate for each of these three questions ranged from 94.85% to 99.30%.
• 2014 saw significant improvement in those variables relating to in-store documentation. Compliance to the proper in-store display of the A3 code-poster requires the easy visibility of the document itself and also for all details of the licence holder, complaints hotline and website details to be accurately presented on it. Compliance on this variable in 2014 was 95.02% versus 93.75% in 2013. Compliance with the availability of the in-store briefing document for staff-members was 94.78% in 2014 versus 90% in 2013. Had all relevant documentation been in place the overall compliance rate would have exceeded 91%. I have therefore requested that Members place a renewed focus on ensuring that there is a higher rate of compliance with documentation criteria.
• In October 2013, the Government announced a package of alcohol related measures including the replacement of the existing voluntary Code on the display and sale of alcohol in mixed trade premises with a statutory Code under Section 17 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011. It was announced that following its introduction a review of the effectiveness of this Code would take place after two years. Depending on the outcome of this review a decision may be made by the Minister for Justice & Equality to either make the statutory Code permanent or activate Section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008.
• The RRAI re-iterates its firm support for the introduction of a strengthened RRAI Code of Practice on a statutory footing under Section 17 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011.

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