Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Scottish whiskey producers criticize plans to allow Icelandic grocery stores to sell beer and wine

By Staff

  • State liquor store Scottish whiskey producers argue the current system is preferable and leads to better consumer service than what would result from a proposed law to abolish the state alcohol retail monopoly. Photo/Stefán Karlsson.

The Scotch whisky association has presented the Icelandic parliament with detailed criticism of a bill to abolish the Icelandic state alcohol retail monopoly the local news site eyjan.is reports. The association argues the bill which is currently under consideration is poorly prepared and unclear, that it is unlikely to lead to more choice for consumers and will discriminate among alcohol producers.

Read more: MPs debate whether grocery stores should be allowed to sell alcohol

The Icelandic parliament is currently considering a bill to abolish the government retail monopoly ÁTVR, and allow the sale of alcohol in grocery stores, which the Scotch Whisky Association welcomes. However, the association criticises that the bill stipulates that spirits and alcoholic drinks with an alcohol volume of 22% or higher must be kept separate from beer and wine.

According to the bill grocery stores would have to offer stronger spirits in separate rooms or behind a counter. The Scotch Whiskey Association argues this discriminates against stronger spirits in favour of beer and wine. The association also argues consumers are likely to see a reduction in selection. The association also points out the law is unworkably unclear when it comes to whether specialized liquor stores would be allowed.

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