Poland: Big Alcohol Lobbies For Online Retail Permission
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which is threatening almost all industries globally, in Poland, Big Alcohol lobbies relentlessly for online retail permission to protect their profits.
With health guidelines recommending and in some cases enforcing physical distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, globally many industries are suffering. As Movendi International reported earlier, the alcohol industry and the advertising industry are quickly adapting to the changing circumstances – at times even putting public health at risk.
Big Alcohol lobby groups are saying the closure of bars and restaurants are threatening their business. They report 15 to 20% of their sales comes through this channel. The solution suggested by industry lobby group Employers’ Association of the Polish Spirits Industry (ZPPPS) is to allow online alcohol delivery. They are also calling to weaken public health policy further by opposing a government bill amending some acts in connection with the promotion of healthy consumer choices.
This is not the first time the lobby group has pushed for deregulation of alcohol control to benefit the private profit interests of the alcohol industry. It is clear Big Alcohol is looking for their profit interests even during this crisis, while ordinary people exercise solidarity by either staying at home or risking their lives in service to others, for example in the healthcare sector.
The World Health Organization has advised people to avoid alcohol to stay physically and mentally fit during this time. Alcohol is found to weaken the immune system which can make people more susceptible to the virus and in developing critical symptoms.
It is evident the best course of action is to reduce availability of alcohol so that people avoid alcohol, can quit or reduce their consumption or maintain their sobriety, not increasing consumption. Alcohol delivery itself poses a plethora of problems as it is harder to monitor – which can increase underage alcohol use. Specifically during this time when contact-less delivery is opted for it is highly problematic to deliver alcohol, as underage persons, already intoxicated people and people with alcohol problems could easily get hold of alcohol, thereby, adding to the current healthcare burden.