Booze abuse needs range of solutions

Colin Finch National president, National Federation of Retail Newsagents Sir; The National Federation of Retail Newsagents is sceptical over Tesco's announcement that it is willing to discuss the price of alcohol ('Asda gets tougher on underage drink', The Grocer, 23 February, p5). NFRN members, who are local and independent, see the effects of excessive and underage alcohol consumption every day and know from experience that one solution, like pricing, is unlikely to work if it is not supported by other policies and everyone in the community. It is positive that Tesco is willing to enter the discussion. However, we can't forget any increase in prices is a benefit to supermarkets who will maximise profits while maintaining display and not really addressing the social problem. The NFRN was one of the first to discuss alcohol and its effects on communities and we will continue to debate the issue as a whole - and not just parts of it that might grab attention for a short while.