Aston Manor Cider has joined the Portman Group to support the work it does to encourage a responsible relationship with alcohol and an informed approach to tackling misuse.
The move reflects the ongoing work of the leading cider maker to become more sustainable, including an active role in being socially responsible and supporting education on the impact of alcohol.
Headquartered in Birmingham and with sites in the West Midlands and South West, Aston Manor’s chief executive Gordon Johncox will join the Portman Group Council.
Other senior people in the business will support the communication and public affairs work of the organisation that has a thirty-year track record of fostering a balanced approach to issues related to alcohol and the development of successful and targeted campaigns to reduce harm.
Gordon Johncox explained the decision: “We are committed to being environmentally, economically and socially responsible and this informs all areas of operation and is supported by the investment decisions we make.
“Joining the Portman Group was a natural next step for us as we will benefit from the insight and expertise they have within the organisation.
“It also allows us to advance the ambition we have to encourage an informed and balanced debate around alcohol so that the approaches and policies developed to reduce harm are effective and proportionate.
“We do a great disservice to the small minority of people struggling with issues around misuse – and those around them – if we believe the simplicity of whole population measures can address the complex and often personal reasons why some misuse a range of substances.
“A better balance in the debate around alcohol is vital. Without it we might fail to identify the unintended consequences of action that could impact moderate and responsible drinkers in a way that is as disproportionate as it is unfair.”
Formed in 1989, the Portman Group recently introduced the sixth edition of the regulatory code covering the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.
John Timothy, CEO of the Portman Group said: “I am delighted to welcome Aston Manor to the Portman Group. We look forward to working with and alongside them given their commitment to lead and operate to the highest standards in the industry.”
In other action on social responsibility Aston Manor is committed to the Alcohol Education Trust until at least 2022. The mission of the Trust is for young people to enter adulthood having a responsible understanding of alcohol and its effects whether they decide to drink or not.
The funding from Aston Manor supports the provision of award-winning resources and training used in schools, youth and sports clubs across Birmingham, the Midlands and Devon.
Changes to the pack sizes of some Aston Manor products has meant 43 million fewer units of alcohol have been consumed.
As part of the established sustainability plan, Aston Manor was the first alcoholic drinks business to sign up to the UK Plastics Pact and the business is investing to ensure all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Aston Manor has also achieved ahead of schedule the elimination of any waste to landfill. This was managed through a mix of investment and the actions of everyone across all sites.
As a result of the progress being made the business is regularly recognised with national and international awards for sustainability. The latest, in December 2019, was the Drinks Business Green Award.
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