Local shops and wholesalers have committed to support the government’s latest responsibility deal pledge to remove one billion units of alcohol from the market place.

Local shops and wholesalers that have signed up to the pledge include Bestway Cash and Carry, Booker, the Co-operative Group, Costcutter Supermarkets, Nisa Retail, Spar UK, Budgens, Londis and Makro UK.

The pledge is a signal of intent by all the companies involved; each one will decide the ways it can makes its contribution and report back on its activities to the Department of Health as part of the Responsibility Deal commitment.

Initiatives will include reformulation of own-brand products, greater focus on the sale and promotion of lower alcohol alternatives, and consumer education initiatives.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) have made a similar commitment to communicate the responsibility deal pledges to all their members, supporting them with information and guidance to reduce alcohol harm.

The pledge, which is welcomed by the Department of Health, is supported by a total of 34 companies including producers, wholesalers and retailers.

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said: “This is a clear signal that the convenience sector is continuing its work to reduce alcohol harm and support the government’s responsibility deal. Local shops play an essential role in their community and the responsible retailing of alcohol is a top priority.”

James Bielby, FWD Chief Executive, said: “FWD members support the government’s aims to reduce alcohol harm and will work with suppliers and retailers to deliver the Responsibility Deal’s targets.”