The Commitments were announced on October 9, 2012 on the second day of the international conference Global Actions: Initiatives to Reduce Harmful Drinking. Through the Commitments, the signatory companies are demonstrating their commitment to supporting balanced initiatives that are linked to their core business functions and those that address wider social and public health issues, relying on initiatives that are evidence based, culturally sensitive, and collaborative. They also support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol and welcome the positive role it identifies for producers, distributers, marketers, and sellers of beer, wine, and spirits.
We have sought to ensure that all the information given in this report is accurate, complete, and sufficiently detailed to allow readers to make a fair assessment of our performance in 2016. The report covers positive achievements as well as areas that require improvement or have taken longer than anticipated to achieve, bearing in mind that the Commitments cover a five-year period. Interim updates are available at the following web address: ProducersCommitments.org.
In October 2016 Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) announced the completion of its combination with SABMiller. In the same period, AB InBev divested its share in some brands previously owned by SABMiller. This included the sale of the SABMiller share of MillerCoors to Molson Coors, which gives Molson Coors 100% ownership of MillerCoors and forms the United States business unit for Molson Coors. Similarly, AB InBev divested SABMiller’s interest in the Peroni, Grolsch, and Meantime brands and associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom to Asahi Group Holdings. Furthermore, in October 2016, AB InBev completed the divestiture of SABMiller’s equity interest in China Resources Snow Breweries Limited (CR Snow) to China Resources Beer (Holdings) Company Limited. Finally, in December 2016, it was announced that several brands then-owned by SABMiller, including Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic, Poland’s Tyskie and Lech, Hungary’s Dreher, and Romania’s Ursus, were to be sold to Asahi Group Holdings; this divestiture was completed in 2017.
During the 2016 reporting cycle, AB InBev was able to report on 26 legacy SABMiller markets: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Molson Coors was able to report on the MillerCoors activities in the United States. Although not reporting in 2016, Asahi Group Holdings will be responsible for reporting on markets in Europe where it is now commercially active in the 2017 Progress Report.
The Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers’ Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking are the guiding force behind our actions to help reduce harmful drinking worldwide. As leading beverage alcohol producers, we are committed to combating harmful drinking in support of the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol, the UN Political Declarations on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As we take action, we report annually on our companies’ progress over the five-year Commitments time frame (2013 through 2017). In our first three years of implementation, we conducted foundational work, accelerated progress, and established momentum. This positioned us to achieve real traction in 2016, with steady progress year-on-year on many of the indicators, although there are some areas of decline where progress needs to be accelerated as set out in the indicator review. In this fourth year of our Commitments work, we realized the benefits of these efforts being embedded in our companies’ operations. This has enabled us to launch campaigns with greater speed and reach.
Our sustained efforts while implementing these Commitments aims to build trust and collaboration among stakeholders at local community level, at higher levels of government, and with key stakeholders such as retailers and health advocates. We decided to report on this work in part through case studies that demonstrate the breadth and depth of these efforts, as well as candidly identifying some of the challenges that arise as we implement the Commitments within different countries and cultures. In addition to sharing quantitative data, we think it is crucial to also provide concrete examples of how our Commitments are making an impact. We also hope that our case studies will inspire more stakeholders to become partners in our work and motivate like-minded organizations and governments in other countries to take stronger action to reduce harmful drinking.