Barely two days after Nigerian Breweries Plc released its second quarter result for the period ended June 30, 2016, the company has confirmed through a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that the Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria (CPC) has commenced investigation on the veracity of claims regarding the health benefits of beer consumption that was made at the company third Nigerian Beer Symposium.
According to a statement signed by the company Corporate Affairs Adviser Kufre Ekanem, CPC mandated the brewing company to back up the statements made about beer at the symposium.
However, while shareholders and market operators awaits the outcome of CPC investigation, Kufre explained that the Nigerian Beer Symposium is an annual platform created to share available and scientifically verifiable knowledge on beer with our stakeholders, allow robust debate on same and reinforce our message of moderate and responsible consumption.
He pointed out that In the past two years, the Nigerian Beer Symposium has enabled experts in different fields to share evidence-based knowledge on the nutritional, health and lifestyle benefits of beer when consumed in moderation. Simultaneously, each symposium discusses the risks that come with abuse of beer or other alcohol for the consumer and for the society. These information on beer are in the public domain and can easily be confirmed.
Stressing that No brand claims were made at the 3rd Nigerian Beer Symposium because, by design, the discussions thereat are not about specific brands nor their particular attributive values. Rather, the sessions discuss the beer category as a whole and create space for the presentation of verifiable facts on beer we believe our stakeholders should be aware of.
Beyond inviting the subject matter experts and creating the platform, we do not influence the contents and thrusts of their presentations at the symposia. We also do not issue press releases nor teleguide the media coverage for the symposia thereafter. Adding that as a responsible corporate citizen, Nigerian Breweries recognizes that drinking is a matter of personal choice and we have a heritage of advocating responsible consumption of alcohol. We have several historical and ongoing partnerships with government institutions in this respect. The Nigerian Beer Symposium thus provides an opportunity for the company to further drive responsible consumption messages by advocating moderate consumption of beer.
He said they have spoken with the leadership of the Council to understand their concerns and “we will deliver a full formal response to the issues raised in the Notice within the timeframe provided. We intend to keep discussing with the Council to clarify any grey areas on beer and the Nigerian Beer Symposium until the process is completed”.