Sir Terry Leahy has pledged to support the government’s plans to act on the below-cost selling of alcohol.

The Tesco chief executive (pictured) threw his weight behind the proposals after the coalition government said it would consider setting a minimum price at which retailers could sell alcoholic drinks.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Leahy said: “The reason action must be Government-led is not because Tesco or other retailers are unwilling to pay their part in tackling this important issue, but because competition laws prevent retailers from holding any discussions on pricing.”

But he warned that the majority of consumers that drink responsibly could end up paying higher prices if the action was not “effective and proportionate”.

Tesco said would introduce other measures to help tackle alcohol-related behaviour by bringing the units of alcohol information from the back label to the front of the pack on all own-label products. It will work with branded suppliers to make the change an industry standard.

In central London, Tesco is to create a Community Alcohol Partnership piloting a series of responsible drinking measures. Alcohol Concern will form part of the steering group for the project, providing independent scrutiny of the proposed work.

Read more
Morrisons wary of alcohol pricing plan (21 May 2010)
‘Kamikaze’ 24-pack booze deals blasted by suppliers (1 May 2010)
‘Disastrous’ pricing plan risks hundreds of jobs, says whisky maker (10 March 2010)