The Central and Eastern European Travel Retail Association (CEETRA) has presented a new industry-led initiative that reaffirms its members’ commitment to product safety and quality in alcohol retailing and other products.
Speaking at a workshop organised by the association at Prague Ruzyne airport, CEETRA chairman Alan Bork stated that “our commitment aims to reassure consumers and raise awareness with policy makers that duty-free and travel-retail is a secure and highly regarded retail channel.” He added that “consumer confidence is paramount for the running of our industry. It must be protected―and promoted.”
He told DFNIonline: “What we have basically introduced today is an idea of self-control. We claim the products are high quality and safe and there is nothing to worry about, but need to communicate this, not only to consumers, but certainly also to the legislators.”
The industry’s voice was joined by that of the Czech Consumers’ Association, which was represented by chairman Libor Dupal who gave a speech dedicated to achieving consumer safety in travel-retail and which stressed the importance of strong industry self-regulation tools that are effectively communicated to consumers.
According to CEETRA, the initiative was launched in the Czech Republic in order to respond to recent concerns about product safety connected to the illicit trade of alcohol.
The workshop gathered prominent travel-retail and duty-free representatives in Central and Eastern Europe to discuss the impact of the illicit alcohol scandal on consumer confidence and the duty-free and travel-retail business. The participants agreed that authorities in the region should know of the high security and health safety standards in place in airport retail. They equally stressed that duty-free and travel-retail does not engage in illicit trade.
In its Commitment to Safety and Quality, CEETRA acknowledges three principles of the duty-free and travel-retail industry: “the highest standard and health safety of our goods; shared commitment to quality of goods; and guarantee of the integrity of our supply chain”. CEETRA will call for its members to affirm these commitments to quality and excellence and will also reach. CEETRA will call for all its members to affirm these commitments to quality and excellence and will also reach out to political audiences to explain the responsible approach being taken by the duty-free and travel-retail industry.
Bork summarised CEETRA’s initiative by saying that “whenever a consumer comes to a duty free and travel-retail shop, we will take pride in providing them with high-quality goods that are both safe and reliable.”