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09/12/2016

Why threaten the Estonia Government when they are trying to ensure you have healthy consumers?

Eurocare issued an open letter to Carlsberg and Olvi regarding their interference in Estonian's government latest alcohol policy reforms.

Mr Cees 't Hart, CEO Carlsberg

Mr Lasse Aho, CEO Olvi plc

Open letter: Why threaten the Estonia Government when they are trying to ensure you have healthy consumers?

I am writing to you on behalf of the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare), which is an alliance of 60 public health organisations (mainly non-governmental organisations) from 25 European countries dedicated to the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm.

We have been informed that Carlsberg and Olvi are threatening the Estonian Government to withdraw from Estonia if they move forward in their alcohol policy plans, which aim at improving health of its population ( http://arileht.delfi.ee/news/uudised/carlsbergi-ja-olvi-juhid-hoiatavad-juri-ratast-olleaktsiisi-tostmine-sunnib-meid-oma-investeeringuid-umber-hindama?id=76503989).

This is contradictory to the information and the image given over the years by Carlsberg as a company caring about alcohol-related harm in the European Alcohol and Health Forum. Moreover it appears not to be in the spirit of your global social responsibility initiatives, as can be found here; http://gsri.worldwidebrewingalliance.org/search

Eurocare would like to ask Carlsberg and Olvi to reconsider their policy and instead congratulate Estonia Government for prioritising the health of its citizens. The proposed alcohol policy plans are based on recognised international agreements. Reducing youth drinking and alcohol-related road accidents are in line with UN’s sustainable development goals. Both WHO’s Global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol and WHO’s European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020 recommends Member States “to reduce exposure to alcohol marketing, and in particular to protect children and youth from alcohol marketing of all kinds”.

We trust that as a responsible company you will support alcohol policies in the countries where you operate and respect the sovereignty of national governments to protect health of its citizens. Threatening countries to pull out your investment when the health policies they implement do not suit your goals is a despicable tactic. We sincerely hope you will reconsider your position. We remain at your disposal if you should have any further questions.

Kind regards,

Tiziana Codenotti Mariann Skar

President of Eurocare Secretary General