An online programme aimed at educating New Zealanders on safer alcohol consumption is proving to be a fantastic resource everyone should check out, said NZ Food and Grocery Council (FGC) Chief Executive Katherine Rich.

FGC has today launched a Leaders Series video on the programme, ‘Alcohol&Me’, which is an initiative by Lion aimed at championing a positive and responsible drinking culture in New Zealand. Lion developed the programme as an internal education seminar for its staff, after drawing on expert information from New Zealand and around the world gathered by health professors, anthropologists, experts in drug and alcohol issues, and nutritionists. It is now part of its induction process for all new staff.

After approaches from other companies, Lion developed a version that other business could use in a face-to-face workshop format. It contains quizzes, videos, demonstrations, and group activities, and is designed to complement a company’s alcohol and drug policy. The free 60-minute online version was then launched.

At latest count, there have been nearly 16,000 sessions completed, including nearly 14,000 online, while1761 people have completed the full three-hour facilitated version in approximately 70 workshops.

Lion Managing Director Rory Glass said the real-world tools in the programme teach people about alcohol and its effects on the body and mind and help them make smarter decisions about their drinking.

“It’s not a silver bullet, rather it’s a great addition to the mix that includes initiatives from the Health Promotion Agency and Cheers.

“It’s not about making people drink less or more – it’s all about making it easier for them to become more informed and make good decisions that keep them safe and sociable when they’re enjoying a drink”.

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich said it’s another great example of the fast moving consumer goods industry working hard to advise and educate consumers.

“This is a fantastic resource. Lion has clearly put a huge amount of work into it.

“They’ve drawn from the latest information on alcohol consumption from around the world because, like other companies with a sense of community, they recognise they have an important role to play in educating consumers.”