Russian beer producers did not support the idea of mandatory labeling of alcoholic beverages proposed by the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov. The experts of the brewing industry expressed their point of view on September 9 to the RIA Novosti agency.
“In our opinion, the initiative to introduce labeling for beer and beer drinks with special or excise stamps is economically unjustified and redundant,” Oraz Durdyev, director of legal affairs and corporate relations at the beer producer AB InBev Efes, commented on the idea of beer labeling.
According to him, there is no equipment for the labeling of brewing products and the introduction of this measure will lead to a loss of productivity and negatively affect the financial performance of the industry. “It also cannot be denied that the introduction of labeling will inevitably lead to higher prices on the shelf and will become the second excise tax for the industry,” he added.
“An additional control system is not needed, it will lead to significant additional costs, both capital costs in the form of installing additional equipment and operating costs,” said Kirill Bolmatov, director of corporate relations at Heineken in Russia.
Like the representative of AB InBev Efes, he noted that the labeling will lead to an increase in the cost of beer products, which will cause an increase in prices and, as a result, will lead to a decrease in production volumes.
Earlier, on September 9, Dmitry Manturov announced to Russian President Vladimir Putin a proposal to start introducing labeling of alcoholic beverages with beer. According to him, this is necessary in order to protect Russian consumers, since it is alcoholic products that are especially susceptible to counterfeit.
For marking, a two-dimensional code in the Data Matrix format is used, which is applied directly to the product packaging or product label and contains information about the product: name, manufacturer, date, time and place of release. In 2024, the labeling system should be fully operational.
The phased introduction of the marking system began in Russia in 2016 and will be completed in 2024. A unique digital code on the product allows each buyer to make sure of the legality and quality of the product. On March 1, 2018, the rule on the mandatory presence of digital marking for tobacco products came into force in Russia, and in July 2020, the country began to label shoes and medicines.