should not be detracted from by European policy in this field. In the past we have frequently advocated the introduction of special regulations per product, including beer and soft drinks. The present approach by the European Commission to the creation of a single internal market implies that such a vertical directive will only come about in very few cases. Regulations relating to raw materials, additives, production methods and labelling, applicable to a large number of products, will now have to ensure the maintenance of the level of quality and the provision of meaningful information to the consumer. Another subject of importance to our industry is the new approach to European agricultural problems put forward by the European Commission in the 'Green Paper'. Our industry is incessantly demanding attention to two essen tial elements of this, namely the availability of the necessary quantity of raw materials of the required quality at a reasonable price and the possibility of being able to continue to compete on the world market on the same cost price conditions for raw materials as our competitors. It is therefore vitally important to maintain the principle that the consequences of the European agricultural policy should not bear on industries which market agricultural products in processed form outside the Community. During the year under review the European directive regarding packaging for beverages was approved by the Council of Ministers. A lengthy procedure with intensive consultation between all concerned has resulted in the existence now of a directive which provides the possibility of following a meaningful policy in the field of packaging, environment and energy without denying industry, trade and users the advantages of the many forms of pack aging. In order to implement the policy for the creation of a single integrated internal market the Commission has also made proposals with regard to excise duties. In the first instance they envisage the removal of the obstacles to trade which would exist as a result of the various systems of levying excise duty in the member states. In the majority of the member states - including the Netherlands - the determi nation of the beer duty payable takes place during the production process, an objective method to arrive at the correct levying of duty. A change-over to a system of levying on the end product, as is the case in some countries and as has been repeatedly advocated by the Com mission, would entail many disadvantages. Constant efforts are being made at the European level to create the possibility for the two systems to continue to co-exist in the Community, without thereby distorting competitive relation ships. In the Netherlands the 'Foundation to encourage the Responsible Use of Alcohol' (STIVA) was set up a few years ago by the alcoholic beverages industry; its activities are aimed at preventing the abuse of alcoholic drinks. In 1985 an information campaign was conducted by means of television advertising, newspaper advertisements and leaflets. Having regard to the good progress of self- regulation by the branch of industry in the Netherlands, we regret that the ministerial 'Draft Memorandum regarding a cohesive policy of restraint in the use of alcohol', which appeared at the end of 1985, nevertheless gives preferen ce to statutory measures. Our objection is all the more cogent because on the basis of experience in other countries the statutory measures referred to in the Memo randum will not prove effective in preventing abuse of alcohol. In addition, we find it disappointing that no distinction is made in the Memorandum between abuse and a responsible use of alcoholic drinks. The Netherlands Output of beer per capita rose from 83.0 litres in 1984 to 84.2 litres in the year under review. It cannot be concluded from this that the total beer market has increased. The 1984 picture was in fact distorted by additional stocking-up in the previous year in anticipation of the increase in excise duty as from January 1, 1984. The poor summer again had a detrimental effect on beer consumption. Sales by Heineken Nederland BV were more or less in line with the trend of the total market. In the take-home sector there was some decrease in 1985 in competitive pressure from the cheaper brands. Conse quently there was only a marginal decline in this sector in the market share of the quality beers sold by us. Beer sales in the 10-litre 'Heineken Thuistap' (Home Draught), which were started in the previous year through the retailers channel, showed a positive growth in 1985. Our share in the hotel, restaurant and café market re mained stable in the year under review. The total earnings of our Netherlands operating company were somewhat improved owing to a slight increase in volume and the possibility of passing on certain cost increases in prices. It was decided also to market the Limburg brand 'De Ridder' in the other parts of the country. The capacity of the brewery in Maastricht will be expanded for that purpose. In the field of packaging and the environment, a common code of conduct has been arrived at between the govern ment authorities, the packaging industry and user groups. In that connection agreement has been reached on the limitation and where possible reduction of the flow of waste, as well as on the responsible use of packaging mate rials.

Jaarverslagen en Personeelsbladen Heineken

Jaarverslagen | 1985 | | pagina 21