The promotion of positive drinking is a core pillar for Diageo. (Yashima, Flickr) Photo License: CC BY-SA 2.0
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles Breweries Limited (Seybrew) is fully committed to the well-being and the health of the people of Seychelles, according to the company’s new managing director.
Yvonne Mwangi, who assumed office at the beginning of September, has said that the company is keen to forge a partnership with the government for education and awareness on responsible drinking as well as supporting the country’s initiative aimed at tackling obesity.
Mwangi said: “As Diageo [the parent company] and Seychelles Breweries, we are committed to making sure that we educate consumers on alcohol. Alcohol is alcohol; red wine, beer whatever it is, it is still alcohol. So just educating consumers on alcohol…we continue to ensure that consumers know they can drink alcohol but responsibly.”
Mwangi said education and raising awareness on this aspect will be the focus for the coming years. Seybrew will also be partnering with the government for the launch of an obesity campaign in October this year.
Diageo is a British multinational alcoholic beverage company, with its headquarters in London, England. It operates from 132 sites around the world. It is a major distributor of Scotch whisky and other spirits.
Mary Anne Ernesta, the corporate relations manager for Seychelles Breweries told SNA that the promotion of positive drinking is a core pillar for Diageo.
For instance, its DrinkiQ programme was launched in 2008 to help consumers make more informed choices about drinking including the decision not to drink, and focus on tackling underage drinking, promoting moderation as well and changing attitudes to drink driving.
In Seychelles – an archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – the Seychelles Breweries spends between SCR700,000 ($53,000) to SCR1 million ($75,400) each year on education programmes.
“Even if alcohol is our business, we want to ensure alcohol is enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle and that people enjoy alcohol whilst making good decisions,” explained Ernesta.
Ernesta gave examples of people knowing the consequences of drunk driving and making smart choices such as instead of driving, taking taxis and making prior arrangements for transportation to and from events.
“Our programme ‘wrong side of the road’ focuses on drunk driving and its consequences,” said Ernesta, adding that one of Seybrew’s social initiatives includes a drink driving partnership with the police.
“Our Smashed programme is very engaging and interactive, where school children are educated about under aged drinking and targets school children,” said Ernesta. This programme is done in all secondary schools, with the company returning to all schools every year ensuring that information is disseminated to new secondary students.
According to Diageo, the Smashed Project is a preventative programme launched in 2019, intended to help delay the onset of early alcohol use amongst young people by engaging participants in a safe and motivational learning environment, enabling them to explore the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and equipping them with the facts, skills and confidence to make responsible choices and develop a responsible attitude towards alcohol.
Underage drinking is becoming a major problem in Seychelles. Surveys conducted amongst school children have shown that children as young as 7 years old have been exposed to alcohol. Worryingly as well, is the trend at outdoor events held locally, where the consumption of alcohol is very visible amongst the underaged.
“As a responsible company, we have zero tolerance to underage drinking,” said Ernesta.
Since the Smashed Project started in the island nation, the company has educated approximately 14,000 secondary school students on the danger of underage drinking.