The Portman Group, the responsibility body and regulator for UK drinks producers, is today encouraging all alcohol producers to include the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMOs) low risk drinking guidance on their labels. The latest CMO guidance suggests that it is safest not to drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis.

Portman Group members already comply with best practice guidance and include warnings against drinking during pregnancy, the number of alcoholic units in the product container as well as signposting to Portman Group members will also voluntarily display the 14 units per week guidance on their products

John Timothy, Chief Executive, The Portman Group, commented:

“The Portman Group is encouraging all alcohol producers to include CMO guidance on labels. We are committed to helping consumers make informed choices about their drinking and this is an important step in the process. While labels are only one means through which to communicate information, as a responsible sector we believe it is important to do everything we can to promote moderation and minimise the risk of harm.

“Our members will also continue to signpost to which is a dedicated resource for detailed health advice and support and is visited by millions of adults in the UK each year.”


For more information please contact:

Melanie Woodnick | Interim Director of External Affairs
0207 290 1469 | 07719 324021 | comms@localhost

Notes to editors

  1. The Portman Group is the social responsibility body for alcohol producers in the UK. Our aim is to help reduce the harms related to alcohol and to promote responsible drinking. We regulate the promotion and packaging of alcoholic drinks sold or marketed in the UK; challenge and encourage the industry to market its products responsibly; and lead on best practice in alcohol corporate social responsibility.
  2.  The Portman Group is funded by its eight member companies: Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands UK; Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I; Carlsberg UK; Diageo GB; Heineken UK; Molson Coors Brewing Company UK; Pernod Ricard UK and Jägermeister UK.
  3. Industry guidance requires all producers to carry the following information on their labels: i) number of units contained; ii) signposting to Drinkaware; and iii) the avoid drinking in pregnancy logo. It is optional as to whether they also choose to incorporate CMO weekly guidance. The Portman Group is encouraging producers to consider displaying this additional information:
  4. According to UK Government statistics:
  • 79% of adults do not exceed the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended lower-risk guideline of 14 units per week
  • Recorded alcohol consumption in the UK has fallen by 15% since 2004, meaning the UK population now drink less alcohol per head compared to 30 years ago.
  • The proportion of people who drank on five or more days in the last week has fallen 41% since 2007.
  • Binge drinking has fallen 20% since 2007.