In the framework of the EU Public Health policy and for the first time ever, the European Commission adopted in October 2006 a specific EU Strategy to Support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm.
This Strategy aims to map good practices and areas of socio-economic importance and Community relevance where further progress could be made, and explains how the European Commission can further support and complement national public health policies implemented by Member States in cooperation with stakeholders, taking into account that drinking patterns and cultures vary across the EU.
5 priority themes of the Alcohol & Health Strategy
As one cornerstone for the implementation of this Strategy, a European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF Chart) was created in 2007 to provide a common platform for all interested stakeholders that pledged to step up relevant actions needed to reduce alcohol-related harm.
With the firm intention of promoting responsible and moderate wine drinking as a social and cultural norm, the whole European wine sector (CEEV, COPA-COGECA, CEVI) united and launched a comprehensive pan-European programme called " Wine in Moderation - Art de Vivre" as the wine sector’s tangible and measurable commitment to the European Alcohol and Health Forum.
The Wine in Moderation programme was launched in 2008 with the aim of supporting initiatives that seek to reduce harmful alcohol-related behaviours in Europe, while preserving the cultural, environmental and economic place of wine in European society.
Principles of the Commitment
Most consumers enjoy wine in moderation, but a minority of consumers misuse alcoholic beverages: all representatives of the wine sector – in every region, and at every step of the value chain – have a role to play in finding the best ways to communicate about the value of moderation.
There isn’t a single European way to consume wine, drinking patterns depend greatly upon local traditions, education, gender, age group and socio-economic factors; efforts to promote moderation should be tailored to the needs of each population.
Many actors in the wine sector across Europe have been promoting moderation successfully, every successful effort, however local, should be used to spread "best practices" and should be adopted and emulated wherever possible.
Efforts to promote moderation should be based on sound research, social and cultural aspects, existing and future research should be collected and analysed at EU level to develop science-based evidence.
Wine in Moderation: a renewed commitment 2011 - 2013
Building on the success: The way forward
When the “Wine in Moderation, Art de Vivre” Programme was launched in 2008, it was a big step forward for the wine sector. For the first time, all relevant actors within the European wine industry had come together to develop a holistic and comprehensive programme to promote responsibility and moderation in wine consumption.
In 2011, following a broad consultation with EU authorities and WiM stakeholders at national and international level, the wine sector successfully renewed the WiM commitment to the EAHF for 3 more years (2011-2013). This new commitment updated its priority focus and presented new objectives addressing the growing expectations that the programme's success had created.
Recognising the role of the wine sector as being part of the European cultural heritage and following the success of the programme and its contribution to the objectives of the European Alcohol & Health Strategy, the European Commission recommended the further development of the Wine in Moderation Programme in more countries, to increase consumer information and to go beyond reinforcing the presence of the WiM logo in society (via bottles, restaurants, retail, media).
Built on the same successful structure of the programme, it was decided to focus the renewed commitment on:
consumers with the use of consumer information campaigns,
increasing access to comprehensive and science-based information,
building partnerships with relevant stakeholders,
engaging opinion leaders, and
To meet the challenges of the renewed commitment and its ambitious objectives, the sector decided to optimise WiM's tools and structures. It is in this context that in 2011 the sector decided to found WiM Association - a non-profit organisation - created to coordinate the European and International implementation of the Wine in Moderation - Art de Vivre Programme.
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