The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has responded to the government’s latest consultation on alcohol policy by urging members to focus on practical measures that drive

high standards in their shops.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "Everyone should seek to play their part in changing the drinking culture. To do this retailers must focus on the practical measures that they can take in their businesses that can make a difference."

His comments follow the release of a policy consultation entitled ’Changing our Drinking Culture’. The Department of Health consultation states that the drinks industry is not adhering to its own voluntary standards and that there is new evidence suggesting that alcohol is a far wider cause of damage to people’s health than previously thought.

The consultation proposals would mean that retailers would have to:

? display alcohol in off licence premises in separate areas with no more displays by the tills;

? give point-of-sale information on units to allow customers to make an informed choice;

? train staff in shops and venues to recognise and refuse alcohol to underage or drunk customers.

Said Lowman: "Retailers can contribute to changing drinking culture through running a responsible business. This includes taking part in industry initiatives such as Challenge 21 and No ID, No sale. Also by playing their part in the growing local partnerships that are developing community-based solutions to local problems."