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									              THE PORTMAN GROUP CHARTER

The Portman Group is the leading umbrella social responsibility organisation
(SRO) for UK drinks producers. Its role is:

            To encourage and challenge its members and the broader industry
             (alcohol producers) to develop and promote their products
             responsibly, mainly through operating its Code of Practice on the
             Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks

            To provide early intelligence for its members on alcohol
             responsibility issues gaining traction with regulators as a result of
             either growing evidence base or groundswell of credible
             stakeholder opinion.

            To propose to its members actions to help to address these issues
             and to enable members to continue to demonstrate leadership on
             best practice in the area of alcohol social responsibility

            To encourage and challenge other relevant organisations to play
             their part in positively influencing drinking attitudes and behaviour

            To speak on behalf of its members on social aspect issues from a
             non-commercial point of view to influence public opinion and policy

This can be represented diagrammatically, as shown below:

 POLICING &                    ENGAGING &                    TAKING THE
CHALLENGING                    EXCHANGING                       LEAD
 Code of Practice            Stakeholder                 Long term thinking
 Commitment to                Mapping, dialogue           Early involvement
  Action                       & influencing                in discussing
 Continuous                  2 way                        priorities and
  improvement                  communication                shaping policy with
                               channels                     regulators
                              Seat at the table in        Catalyst for
                               SR debates                   producer led
                              Trusted broker role          creative solutions
                                                            and bold initiatives

  CREDIBILITY                       TRUST                   INVOLVEMENT

Role of member companies

The Portman Group is a non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Its
member companies are drinks producers. Member companies pay an annual
subscription fee that is weighted according to their size (see appendix A).
Each member company provides a representative to sit as a director on the
Portman Group‟s board, which is called its Council.

Member companies are committed to using their best endeavours to promote
responsible drinking and help reduce alcohol misuse. This commitment
extends beyond the financial commitment of their annual subscription fee; it is
reflected in every aspect of their operation including their policy towards
employees, their relationships with wholesalers and retailers, and their
communications with consumers. Portman Group member companies show
leadership on best practice in areas of alcohol social responsibility. This
marks them out from the remainder of the industry and provides the Portman
Group with its credibility. It also serves to ensure that drinks producers
remain „ahead of the curve‟ on social responsibility issues.                Member
companies also promote the Portman Group, its values and their membership
of it whenever possible, to their staff, to the rest of the industry and to external
non-industry audiences.

To help demonstrate this leadership, member companies are required to
abide by a Commitment to Action Agreement (CAA) which sets out a number
of socially responsible actions which member companies have agreed to
implement (see Appendix B). Compliance with the CAA is monitored by the
Portman Group‟s secretariat. The CAA is reviewed regularly and updated
accordingly as member companies agree to further challenges.

Role of the Council

Council is the Portman Group‟s governing and decision-making body. It
consists of a representative from each member company plus an independent
Chair. The member company representative should normally be the UK Chief
Executive or equivalent.

If a Council member cannot attend a Council meeting, the member company
may send an alternate to attend in their place. The alternate should normally
be sufficiently senior to be able to make policy decisions on behalf of that
member company (i.e. a member of its UK board).

It is vitally important, however, that Council members make every effort to
attend Council meetings. The attendance of alternates may detract from the
Council‟s ability to make prompt, effective, unanimous decisions.

The Council meets four times a year, with the dates set in or around October
the previous year. The Council meetings are used to discuss strategy,
governance and direction setting, and to make decisions.             External
contributors, e.g. ministers, Alcohol Concern, etc, may occasionally be invited
for part of a meeting to improve Council members‟ understanding of issues
and other organisations‟ perspectives, and to help the Portman Group with its
relationship building.

On occasion, particularly because of the need for urgency, the Council may
agree to delegate authority for decision-making to another individual or group,
for example a sub-group of Council members.

A Portman Group Council member‟s commitment extends beyond the time
spent at Council meetings. Council members are to promote personally the
Portman Group and its values whenever possible within their company, to the
wider industry and to external non-industry audiences.

With reference to the three strands of Portman Group activity (see the earlier
diagram), the Council is more likely to spend its time on those issues
concerned with “engaging and exchanging” and “taking the lead”. Examples
of issues for which the Council of the Portman Group is responsible include
the following:

            Agreement of strategic objectives
            Agreement of work plan, budget and accounts
            Approval of changes to the Code of Practice
            Agreement of extensions to the Commitment to Action Agreement
            Agreement of new Portman Group policy
            Acceptance of new member companies
            Appointment and terms and conditions of Portman Group Chair
            Appointment and terms and conditions of Chief Executive

Role of the Public Affairs Group

The Public Affairs Director, or equivalent, is the Portman Group secretariat‟s
normal point of contact at a member company. These contacts collectively
comprise the Public Affairs Group (PAG). The secretariat works closely with
the PAG on the development of Portman Group policy and keeps the PAG
informed on relevant issues. In addition, the PAG members are responsible
for briefing their Council member in advance of Council meetings and, where
appropriate, for implementing internally the decisions of Council.

The PAG has four scheduled meetings per year, though further meetings may
be arranged as necessary. PAG meetings are chaired by the Chair of the
Portman Group. The scheduled meetings fall two weeks before each Council
meeting and their main purpose is to discuss and refine the papers that are to
be presented and discussed at the Council meeting. The public affairs
directors of the British Beer and Pub Association, Scotch Whisky Association,
Wine and Spirit Trade Association, Gin and Vodka Association and National
Association of Cider Makers are also invited to PAG meetings to listen to
discussions impacting on their memberships and to offer their informed
perspectives. These trade association representatives, however, do not
otherwise have a role in decision-making at the meetings. They may also be
excluded from discussions that are regarded as confidential. Other company
experts may on occasion be invited to a PAG meeting (e.g. marketing, legal

With reference to the three strands of Portman Group activity (see the earlier
diagram), the PAG is more likely to spend its time on those issues concerned
with “policing and challenging”. Examples of issues for which the PAG is
responsible include the following:

          Advice on the detail of all decision-making papers which go before
          Advice on policy consultation responses
          Advice on major communications strategies
          Advice on policy position statements
          Agreement on media Q & As

Role of the Portman Group’s Chair and Chief Executive

The Chair of the Portman Group is a paid, part-time appointment. The Chair
is responsible for building external reputation and respect for the Portman
Group as “taking a lead” in shaping the alcohol responsibility agenda. The
Chair champions the role of the Portman Group and lobbies government and
officials to ensure its voice is heard in alcohol responsibility debates, thus to
exert early and credible influence in shaping alcohol policy. The Chair also
chairs PAG and Council meetings (though has no voting rights), and line
manages the Portman Group Chief Executive.

The Chief Executive of the Portman Group reports to the Chair and manages
its other staff and operations (see organisational chart at Appendix C). The
Chief Executive develops the work programme in consultation with the Chair,
PAG and Council and, in combination with the Chair is responsible thereafter
for its implementation. The Chief Executive sits in Council meetings but,
unlike the Chair, is not a member of Council.

The Chair, Chief Executive and Portman Group secretariat are clearly not
wholly “independent” of Portman Group members (i.e. the industry); indeed,
they are required to speak on the collective behalf of member companies.
The Chair and Chief Executive are, however, specifically tasked with
“challenging” member companies to be socially responsible.

Examples of issues for which the Chair is responsible, some in
consultation/combination with the Portman Group Chief Executive, include the

          Engagement with top-level politicians/officials and other senior
           stakeholders to discuss and influence emerging alcohol
           responsibility issues
          Advising producers on how to respond to these issues
          Hosting dinners for key opinion formers
          Chairing Portman Group events and conferences
          „Opening doors‟ for the Portman Group Chief Executive
          Speaking to the top-level media

Examples of issues for which the Chief Executive is responsible, some in
consultation/combination with the Chair, include the following:

            Implementation of the approved work programme
            Administration of the Code of Practice
            Challenging of member companies on social responsibility policies
            Speaking to lower-level media
            Meeting lower-level politicians/civil servants over ongoing issues
            Provision of authoritative input into social responsibility debates
            Appointment of the Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel
            Recruitment of new members
            Recruitment and management of staff

The annual work programme

The Portman Group‟s budgetary year runs from January to December.
Towards the end of each year, and in consultation with the Chair and PAG,
the Portman Group‟s Chief Executive prepares the work programme for the
following year. This is presented to the Council, along with the annual budget
showing the subscription fee required from member companies using the
formula outlined in appendix A. Council is invited to approve the workplan
and budget or agree changes to them if necessary.

Evaluation is important to the Portman Group, not just of individual
events/initiatives but also of achievement of the organisation‟s overall
objectives. When presenting the work programme, the Chief Executive
simultaneously provides details of how this programme will be evaluated. The
Chief Executive normally reports back on this evaluation 12 months later
when presenting the next work programme and budget.

Decision making at Council

The Portman Group develops its policy by unanimous agreement. On
occasion, this requires some member companies to make compromises or
even a commercial sacrifice. Member companies do so, however, because
they recognise that the commercial interests of their company must
sometimes take second place to the long-term interests of the wider industry
on social responsibility issues. This enlightened self-interest, on the part of
members is the key to the Portman Group‟s success and the reason why the
organisation enjoys such a high level of credibility with external stakeholders.
It enables the Chair and Chief Executive to continue to challenge member
companies on delivering a world-class social responsibility agenda. Without
such enlightened thinking, the Portman Group could not continue to function
as an effective and credible organisation and „stay ahead of the curve‟.
Where a unanimous decision is reached then the matter will become policy for
the Portman Group and a position will be agreed for use in proactive
communication on the issue. The Portman Group will then put this position as
early as possible in the debate to regulators and/or media as required to
inform & shape public opinion and policy.

Where all members agree in principle but disagree on timing of
implementation, then the matter will become a „stretch goal‟ for the Portman
Group and a position will be agreed for use in reactive communication of the

Where neither of the above can be achieved, whether for reasons of principle
or commercial interest, then the Portman Group‟s position will reflect the
differing viewpoints and it will be a matter for individual member companies to
comment on separately.

Council provides a clear mandate for the Portman Group‟s Chair and Chief
Executive to collectively challenge its member companies in private – and
agrees to adopt cabinet responsibility for agreed policy positions. These
policy positions must be defended publicly by all members.

In respect of operational decisions which do not impact directly on member
companies either behaviourally or financially, while unanimity will still be
sought, a majority of Council members present at the meeting is sufficient to
carry the decision.

Relationship with Trade Associations

There are several trade associations representing drinks producers‟ interests,
most notably the British Beer and Pub Association, Scotch Whisky
Association, Gin and Vodka Association, Wine and Spirits Trade Association
and National Association of Cider Makers. The Portman Group, however, has
three unique attributes that sets it apart from these trade associations:

          it is pan-sector
          it is dedicated to social responsibility
          it is required to challenge its members

The Portman Group is therefore the centre of expertise on producer social
responsibility issues. It is the gateway for emerging issues of this nature and
seeks to pro-actively influence the industry‟s policy development on these
issues. The Portman Group‟s early involvement is necessary to determine
whether a policy would make an effective contribution to reducing alcohol

The trade associations are responsible for developing and implementing
policy on producer commercial issues and implementing policy on producer
social responsibility issues. They are also responsible for developing and
implementing retailer social responsibility policies, if this is appropriate to their

The trade associations become directly involved in discussions when
Government, regulators and the Portman Group turn social responsibility
ideas into firm proposals for consultation. Any objections raised by trade
associations at this stage should echo any social responsibility concerns
already expressed by the Portman Group as well as reflect commercial
considerations and practical problems surrounding the implementation of new

Examples of issues which clearly fall within the remit of the Portman Group
and on which it expects to pro-actively influence discussions would include the

            Any future government labelling proposal
            Proposal for a 9pm advertising watershed
            Proposal to raise drinking age
            Producers‟ role in tackling binge drinking
            Criticism of marketing and advertising regulations
            Pan-industry proposal to increase tax or restrict availability to
             reduce alcohol misuse

Examples of issues which clearly fall within the remit of trade associations and
on which they would expect to pro-actively influence discussions would
include the following:

            Tax on specific products
            Implementation of new labelling proposal
            Plastic to replace glassware
            Impact of smoking ban
            Policing of under-age sales
            Impact of liberalisation of licensing laws
            Crime and anti-social behaviour linked to night time economy
            Alcohol Disorder Zones

Inevitably, there may be some issues where lines of responsibility become
blurred and require the involvement of both the trade associations and the
Portman Group. When this happens, the trade associations and Portman
Group should produce aligned but separate responses.

The Portman Group and trade associations should work closely together in
the best interests of drinks producers. Trade associations should be
encouraged to refer new policy proposals relating to producer social
responsibility to the Portman Group for consideration. The Portman Group
should keep trade associations well informed of discussions on social
responsibility policy involving Government, non-industry stakeholders and
other regulators. Trade associations are invited to regular liaison meetings at
the Portman Group and to the regular Public Affairs Group meetings at which
policy issues are discussed. In turn, the Portman Group is invited to the
regular drinks industry group meetings convened by the BBPA.

Relationship with the Drinkaware Trust

The Drinkaware Trust (“Drinkaware”) is an independent charity funded by the
drinks industry whose role is to positively change public behaviour and the UK
drinking culture to help reduce alcohol misuse and minimise alcohol-related
harm. Drinkaware achieves this largely through consumer-facing educational
initiatives and campaigns. Drinkaware may contribute to policy development
through the evidence and insights it gains from the outcome and evaluation of
its various activities but does not otherwise have a policy function.

The Portman Group helped to set up Drinkaware and all its member
companies, along with many other companies from the industry, provide
financial support for Drinkaware. Member companies also help to promote
Drinkaware‟s educational messages, for example through their brand labelling
and advertising. The Portman Group does not otherwise currently undertake
consumer-facing alcohol education.

The Portman Group has no formal relationship with Drinkaware. It is an
independent charity completely separate from the Portman Group.
Drinkaware‟s constitution requires that its board includes five trustees from an
industry background but none is required to have an association with the
Portman Group. The Portman Group nonetheless seeks to maintain a good
informal relationship with Drinkaware. It furthermore expects high standards
of transparency and clear and regular communication from Drinkaware to
demonstrate its effective delivery of alcohol education.

Examples of issues on which Drinkaware would be expected to provide the
lead comment or expertise include the following:

            Advice on sensible drinking
            The UK drinking culture
            Trends in alcohol misuse
            Motivations for drinking excessively
            Effective educational approaches
            Social marketing campaigns to discourage misuse
            Policy on alcohol education

Examples of issues on which the Portman Group would be expected to
provide the lead comment or expertise include the following:

          The role of the industry in combating alcohol misuse
          Use of brand labels/advertising to convey educational messages
          Effectiveness of consumer education versus alternative harm
           reduction policies (e.g. taxation, restrictions on availability)
          Producers‟ marketing behaviour and its impact on alcohol misuse
          Social responsibility policy issues affecting producers
Relationship with Code signatories

The Portman Group‟s Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and
Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks was introduced in 1996. It seeks to ensure that
drinks are marketed in a socially responsible way to over-18s only. The
Portman Group owns the Code and administers it on behalf of the wider

There are, however, over 140 companies that have signified their support for
the Code by becoming Code signatories. These companies, which include
alcohol producers, distributors and retailers, represent the overwhelming
majority of the drinks industry. Code signatories do not pay anything towards
the Portman Group. They are important stakeholders, however, in the self-
regulatory system. As such, they are kept informed of any Code-related news
such as new decisions of the Independent Complaints Panel; they are invited
to participate in Code consultations; and they are invited to an annual Code
Signatories‟ Forum at which they may hear about and debate Code-related

Relationship with government

The Portman Group seeks to develop strong relationships with government,
politicians and officials at both the UK level and within the devolved
administrations. By engaging regularly with these groups, the Portman Group
seeks to improve their perception of the efforts and standards of drinks
producer members. Strong relationships enable the Portman Group to
anticipate future alcohol social policy. This vision and knowledge helps
member companies take action to mitigate the risk of government
intervention. The Portman Group seeks to demonstrate to government and
politicians that member companies are progressive in their approach to social
responsibility. Wherever possible, the Portman Group seeks to
form partnerships with the government and politicians to tackle alcohol misuse
and to develop policy.

Relationship with media

In terms of media, the Portman Group not only seeks to position itself as the
first port of call for journalists wanting the industry‟s view on producer social
responsibility news issues, it adopts a proactive media strategy to promote an
appropriate socially responsible image of itself, its members and the industry
generally. The Portman Group‟s proactive media relations position it as the
industry‟s „own watchdog‟, i.e. working alongside alcohol producers to help
them do the right thing rather than acting as an „enforcer‟ making industry do
things against its will.

Relationship with other stakeholders

The Portman Group has various other stakeholders including, for example,
the health sector (e.g. Royal College of Physicians), the alcohol voluntary
sector (e.g. Alcohol Concern), consumer groups (e.g. Consumers‟
Association), other regulatory bodies (e.g. Advertising Standards Authority),
non-alcohol trade bodies (e.g. ISBA) and international industry and non-
industry organisations (e.g. EFRD, Eurocare). In terms of relationships with
these other stakeholders, the Portman Group strives to be proactive, open
and transparent so as to perform its „engaging and exchanging‟ role to
maximum effect.        Regular informal contact is maintained with key
stakeholders to develop dialogue over ongoing issues. Over time, the
Portman Group aims to build trust, even from those who might ordinarily have
a cynicism towards the industry. By doing so, it seeks to ensure the Portman
Group is kept firmly „in the loop‟ on alcohol responsibility matters and on
occasion goes further by providing a bridge between industry and non-
industry stakeholders.

                                                             February 2010
                                                              Appendix A


The Portman Group is funded through annual subscription fees paid by its
member companies; these are paid in two equal instalments due at the
beginning of January and July. The fees are weighted to take account of the
company‟s size, in both UK and global terms. The method of calculation is
shown below:

Tier 1   UK annual turnover > £750m         Fee ratio 1.5

Tier 2   UK annual turnover £250m-£750m     Fee ratio 1.0
         UK annual turnover < £250m but
         Global annual turnover > £500m

Tier 3   UK annual turnover < £250m         Fee ratio 0.5
         Global annual turnover < £500m

Member companies are required to give 12 months notice of resignation from
the Portman Group during which time they are required to pay a subscription
equivalent to the amount prevailing at the time of their resignation.
                                                                                  Appendix B

                                     ‘Making a difference’



   TPG member companies support the principle of unit labelling. It helps consumers put
    sensible drinking guidelines into practice. 78% of the British public think it‟s a good idea.
    More and more brands produced and sold in the UK are being unit labelled all the time.
    Government action to help achieve a standard European unit definition would help
    spread the practice further and faster to other brands. All key brands produced by
    member companies specifically for the UK market will be unit labelled.
   TPG member companies are committed to using their consumer brand advertising or
    sponsored events to promote responsibility messages. At sponsored events
    member companies will undertake one or more of the following:
               own-brand responsibility initiatives
               Donate programme space to The Drinkaware Trust
               Distribute Drinkaware Trust materials
   TPG member companies will feature the Drinkaware website address with reasonable
    prominence on all primary product packaging and in all consumer advertising. This may
    be complemented by a responsible drinking message (the wording of any such
    message to be determined by the company/brand concerned).
   UK brand websites will all feature a reasonably prominent link to the Drinkaware


   TPG member companies will distribute Drinkaware Trust campaign materials on drink
    driving, drunkenness, sensible drinking and underage sales through their supply chains.
   TPG member companies always add a strapline on brand advertising in the trade
    press saying „X is a member of The Portman Group – promoting responsible drinking‟.
   TPG members have reviewed their terms and conditions of supply and promotion
    contracts to tie retailers as strongly as possible to responsible standards of service and
    promotion of their brands. They are not interested in business at any price, if it means
    their brands being associated with anti-social behaviour. Member companies will adopt
    relevant wording into all new contracts along with identified sanctions in case of a breach.


   TPG member companies, whenever necessary, seek pre-launch advice from our
    advisory service on new products or promotions, to avoid breaching the Code of Practice
    on naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks. Advice is also sought on
    sponsorships, branded merchandise and websites, all of which are covered by the Code.
   TPG member companies make sure their new product development and marketing
    teams, as well as the external advertising and PR agencies they use, all receive Code
    awareness training every year, either through TPG or in-house. Where the training is
    provided in-house, regular checks should be made with the TPG Code team to ensure
    that it is comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date.
   TPG member companies who have corporate websites for the UK all have links to the
    TPG site and are developing more of their own material on social aspects.
   TPG member companies will ensure that all dedicated brand websites aimed at UK
    consumers are accessed only via an Age Verification Page (AVP). The AVP should
    require the visitor to enter their date of birth and the default setting should not allow
   TPG member companies all have in place a clearly worded workplace alcohol policy and
    ensure all staff upon recruitment are provided with information on responsible drinking
    (suitable materials can be obtained free of charge from the Drinkaware Trust).

First issued:   July 2003
Last revised:   December 2005
                                                                   Appendix C

                               Seymour Fortescue

                                Chair (part-time)

                                Chief Executive

                                 - David Poley

Office Manager         Head of             Code Compliance and       Code Compliance and
                 Communications and        Good Practice Manager     Good Practice Manager
  - Jo Booth      External Relations            (part-time)               (part-time)

                 - Michael Thompson          - Robyn Dunwoodie             - Kay Gill

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