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Critics to the King: Abandon royal warrants for alcohol sellers


16.01.2024 - In a recent development highlighted by DR.dk, two prominent Danish NGOs, NordAN member organisations, Alkohol & Samfund and Blå Kors, have called upon Denmark's new royal couple to reassess the tradition of bestowing royal warrants to alcohol producers and merchants. This request comes amid growing concerns about the promotion of an unhealthy alcohol culture.


Ida Fabricius Bruun, Director of Alkohol & Samfund, emphasized the potential negative impact of alcohol and the royal family's social responsibility. She noted that the royal endorsement of alcohol products could be perceived as legitimizing and encouraging their use, despite the known risks associated with excessive consumption. Bruun stressed the need for the royal family to reconsider their role in promoting a healthier societal attitude towards alcohol.


Echoing Bruun's sentiments, Morten Skov Mogensen, Secretary-General of Blå Kors Denmark, pointed out the symbolic implications of the royal crown on alcohol products. While not inherently problematic, he suggested that this endorsement might be construed as favoring certain products, inadvertently contributing to a culture that normalizes alcohol consumption.


The article from DR.dk reveals that out of 109 royal warrant holders, 18 are linked to the alcohol industry, including renowned names like Carlsberg and Kjær & Sommerfelt. These companies have held the prestigious title for over a century, signifying a deep-rooted tradition.


Mogensen raised questions about the appropriateness of the royal family backing alcohol producers, given the widespread issues of alcohol abuse and its impact on families. He urged the royal family to use their influential position to support more beneficial societal causes.


Statistics from the Ministry of the Interior and Health underscore the severity of the issue, with 140,000 Danes dependent on alcohol and 585,000 engaged in harmful drinking habits. This pattern of consumption adversely affects over 100,000 children in families dealing with alcohol problems.

Bruun cautioned against underestimating the influence of the royal warrant. Although not the most critical factor in shaping alcohol culture, it significantly boosts the perceived value and appeal of endorsed products. She criticized the narrative promoted by the alcohol industry, which often romanticizes alcohol as a core element of Danish social life.


Reflecting on the royal family's past decision to end endorsements for tobacco products, the NGOs see a potential precedent for a similar stance on alcohol-related endorsements. The royal warrants, subject to reassessment with a monarch's change, present an opportunity for reevaluation and possible discontinuation of these endorsements.


As the royal family transitions to a new era, critics like those from Alkohol & Samfund and Blå Kors, as reported by DR.dk, see this as a critical moment to redefine the royal family's stance on socially sensitive issues like alcohol endorsement.


 

Understanding the Danish Royal Warrant "Kongelig hofleverandør"

  • Current Holders: As of now, 104 Danish and five foreign companies are entitled to call themselves "Kongelig hofleverandør," which translates to "Royal Warrant Holder."

  • Association with Products or Company: The royal warrant is linked either to the company's name or to the specific products that formed the basis for the awarding of the warrant.

  • Duration and Renewal: The warrant is awarded for a period of five years. Upon the expiry of this period, the warrant can be renewed based on a specific evaluation.

  • Criteria for Retention: The continuation of the warrant depends on the company's ongoing fulfillment of the initial criteria set for its award. There is an implied need for consistent adherence to certain standards.

  • Revocation Conditions: The royal warrant can be revoked if the company fails to meet these criteria upon a comprehensive evaluation. Additionally, it is stripped away if the company's owners are convicted by the courts.

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