Chairman Urges Industry-wide Collaborative Approach
Georgetown, Guyana, Friday February 23, 2018: Meeting in Georgetown earlier this month, regional rum producers examined ways in which they could increase practical actions to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol and its negative impact on society.
The February 7 meeting was attended by virtually all of the major producers and many of the smaller ones. The meeting recognised the very negative impact on Caribbean societies caused by the harmful consumption of alcohol. These harms contribute to an increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and a tremendous financial burden to governments. Harmful consumption also has a deleterious effect on the social fabric and family life.
According to Komal Samaroo, Chairman of WIRSPA and of Demerara Distillers Limited, “As a group of responsible producers of alcoholic products, we have a duty to engage these issues frontally and are committed to doing so as an industry and in collaboration with the other producers of alcoholic beverages. This is a moral imperative.”
He added “while we as individual producers are active at the national level in supporting efforts to reduce harmful drinking, as a group we intend to intensify these efforts in 2018, through engagement with all stakeholders, to arrive at practical and implementable strategies to reduce harmful consumption and its impact on our societies.”
Speaking at a reception to welcome producers, acting Prime Minister of Guyana, Hon Carl Greenidge, welcomed the initiative from the industry, noting that it was very timely, and urged all those concerned in tackling the scourge of NCDs and alcohol abuse to maintain an open mind in responding to the approach from the industry.