Store owners are being encouraged to back a campaign against the government’s plans for a new tax on sugary soft drinks.
With just over a month to go before the government’s consultation on the new levy closes, the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) is distributing postcards to stores across the country.
Thousands of cards will be delivered to stores via manufacturer sales representatives and the trade media, including Convenience Store.
The move forms the second phase of the BSDA’s ‘Face The Facts, Can The Tax’ campaign.
BSDA director general Gavin Partington told Convenience Store that the tax, which could add 48p to a two-litre bottle of soft drink, could put hundreds of jobs at risk.
Many of these job losses were likely to occur in small stores which were already under pressure from a variety of other cost hikes including wages, he said.
“We know that government consultations typically receive low levels of engagement from individuals.
“That’s why this campaign is designed to help them respond to the consultation and get their voice heard in a quick and easy way.”
The campaign postcard asks new chancellor Philip Hammond to “reconsider introducing the soft drinks tax” because it “will hurt businesses” and won’t reduce obesity.
Partington also issued a warning about the possibility of similar action on other categories such as confectionery.
“It would be unwise to assume that this type of action will stop with soft drinks, especially when the soft drinks sector is one if the only ones to be making real strides in reducing consumers’ sugar intake in the first place!
“Our action on reformulation and smaller pack sizes is already working and in 2015 we became the only category to set a voluntary calorie reduction target of 20% by 2020,” he added.
Look out for your Face The Facts Can The Tax postcard in the 26 September issue of Convenience Store.
The government consultation closes on 13 October and the full document can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/soft-drinks-industry-levy