Sugro UK managing director Philip Jenkins called on everyone involved in the industry to actively oppose moves by the Government that, he said, would affect the future viability of the trade.
He said the Government had attacked cigarettes, confectionery and carbonated soft drinks using advertising, paid for with tax-payers money, and political sound bites to create disenchantment with these products among consumers.
He added: “The Government has decided to rip the heart out of a perfectly legal product range that has a history and a strong consumer base because it believes we are all incapable of making decisions for ourselves and have no understanding of what is good or bad for us. And yet we still see consumers supporting the impulse arena through their right to choose.
“My message is to call on everyone to ensure they are sending a common message through to their MPs and to the Government that consumer choice is a fundamental right, and the more the Government tells us how we should behave, what we should purchase, and what we should consume, the less of a free choice society we shall become.”
But he also warned that for the wholesale industry, whether it was in the impulse market that Sugro represents, or the alcohol market where the Government was beginning to increase its involvement, “the Government can only really achieve one thing, the further reduction of viability within the independent sector wholesale and retail. So we need you all to make sure you are writing letters, lobbying Government through your local MPs.
“It is not only your right to choose but your future career that is at stake as the industry gets hit even harder by the strategy of the Government.”