Our Message

Promoting the responsible consumption of beer requires raising the awareness of consumers and educating them to adopt responsible drinking habits.  SCC, through its brands, leads in the promotion and development of awareness initiatives in this subject.

Beer  has been around for over 6 000 years, and is an intrinsic part of our consumption habits and social and cultural traditions, not to mention its important contribution to the economy.
The brewing industry has undergone changes over the years. According to a study undertaken by Ernst & Young in 2011 commissioned by the Brewers of Europe, the European sector's association, production in the European Union dropped 6% between 2008 and 2010 as a result of the 8% drop in consumption. Despite the slowdown, in 2010 the sector had total sales of 106 billion Euros, directly and indirectly employing close to 2 million people all over Europe.

And Portugal too,  has not escaped this trend. Between 2008 and 2010, beer consumption in our country fell from 6.2 to 5.9 hectolitres. Nonetheless, the number of direct and indirect jobs in the sector rose 3% in the same period (with a current total of  72 000 people), while beer's contribution to the economy exceeded 1 billion Euros in 2010, in other words, a 10% rise in relation to 2008. This fact is explained by the growth in the exports' market.
In 2007, the European Alcohol and Health Forum, of which The Brewers of Europe is a founder member, was created to assist the European Commission's strategy of supporting Member States in their fight against the harmful effects of alcohol.
For The Brewers of Europe, the Forum is a platform for exchanging good practices, sharing of information on initiatives implemented by the association in partnership with stakeholders from the different countries, which together aim to identify the main health problems caused by the "irresponsible consumption" of alcoholic drinks.

"Promoting the responsible consumption of beer requires raising the awareness of consumers and educating them to adopt responsible drinking habits."

In this context, the population's well-being is obviously a priority  for beer brewers, who assume their responsibility and seek to contribute to the implementation of successful health policies.The consumption of alcoholic beverages is consequently one of the issues which needs to be addressed. SCC is strongly committed to battling against the three latest and most critical problems which are affecting, above all, our youngsters:

• Underage Drinking – Consumption of alcoholic beverages by young people under the legal drinking age – 18 years old in Portugal. This is a reality on a European level, but also on a national level, which requires the joint implementation of awareness and prevention measures by the brewing sector, parents or point of sales.

• Safe Driving – The problem of driving associated with the harmful effects of irresponsible drinking is one of the main focuses. To this end, SCC has developed several awareness campaigns alerting individuals to drive safely, recommending the intake of non-alcoholic beer when driving..

• Binge Drinking – Means drinking more than five or six drinks on just one occasion and in a limited period of time. Associated with binge drinking is the purchase and drinking of large amounts of alcohol by youngsters before going to nightclubs. This situation is affecting many European countries and in Portugal, even though the problem is not as bad, the evolution of binge drinking is currently receiving widespread attention.

Because we are of the opinion that drinking beer in moderation is not contrary to a healthy lifestyle, the Heineken Group and SCC wish to contribute to the public’s improved information, above all that of the youth generations. By assuming a socially responsible position, we wish to present you our perspective and the rules which guide our business performance in this matter.



Interview with Nuno Pinto de Magalhães


Head of Communication & Corporation Affairs

  • In which ways does SCC follow the development of problems related with abusive alcohol intake? Which kind of partnerships and studies serve as the basis to its involvement in this area?
    SCC, as a company which is part of the Heineken Group and member of the “Portuguese Brewers Association” (APCV), is perfectly aligned with the commitments to fight against abusive alcohol intake. As proved by the good practices already implemented in this area, it has held a leading position in the Portuguese sector as shown in the messages introduced in its packaging materials, or assuming commitments with ICAP - Portuguese Self-regulatory Organisation for Advertising, through the APCV, announcing the voluntary decision to apply to non-alcoholic beer the same legislation for alcohol beer, concerning advertising on television and radio, between 7 am and 22 hours and 30 minutes.

    SCC has developed partnerships with the Prevenção Rodoviária Portuguesa (PRP – Portuguese Road Prevention) and Automóvel Clube de Portugal (ACP – Portuguese Automobile Club), as well as with the three-time all-terrain Portuguese champion, Miguel Barbosa, to promote the brand, Sagres Zero. Safe driving and alcohol consumption have been top priorities on this subject’s agenda in Portugal.

    Likewise, other initiatives undertaken in conjunction with Civil Governments and Local Municipal Authorities (“Sopro pela Vida” and “Carreira Zero”) also aim to increase consumers’ awareness to the dangers of drinking irresponsibly.
  • Can you identify the main problems related with alcohol misuse in Portugal? In which negative and positive ways do we distinguish ourselves from other European countries?
    The moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, namely beer, is an intrinsic part of our Mediterranean culture and habits, which unlike other countries, particularly the Nordic ones, does not have peaks of consumption other than the normal seasonal ones.
    Portugal has enough legislation to punish the abusive use of alcoholic beverages. However it does not apply it across its full extension just like in various other issues.
    It is thus pressing to act together with all the agents involved in this subject matter, be it school teachers or supervisors, so as to encourage promote its compliance and hence avoid major legislative challenges which are not the solution to this kind of problems, serving only to divert the public’s attention.
    In Portugal, the most relevant issue concerning the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and its harmful effects has to do with the subject of road safety, in which we have made considerable progress in terms of indicators.
    Binge drinking is not yet a problem in Portugal, as opposed to underage drinking, which can only be minimized through education /supervision since there is enough legislation to prevent and punish it.
  • Do you believe in a common policy or in different measures to fight against these problems?
    APCV has a self-regulation code, subscribed by SCC since its origin, which is considered as a best practice on a European level, with the particularity that it was granted by the associations which represent the sector, namely Associação da Hotelaria, Restauração e Similares de Portugal (AHRESP) for the On Trade channel (hotels, restaurants and cafés) and Associação Portuguesa de Empresas de Distribuição (APED), for the Modern Distribution channel. Compliance with the code is monitored by an independent body, Instituto Civil de Auto-Regulação Publicitária (ICAP – Advertising Self-Regulation Institute).
    However, if companies and brands wish to take this a step further, they are free to do so. In the case of SCC, Sagres has differentiating factors in its commercial communication, namely the insertion of messages in its packaging materials appealing to responsible drinking, which are unique in the brewing market. That is obviously optional but in the meantime it has become an integrant part of the brand’s own DNA.
  • What can consumers expect from SCC’s Commercial Communication with regards to alcohol consumption?
    Training, information, transparency, responsibility and sustainability.
  • Regarding responsibility: what separates brewers responsibility from that of individual consumers?
    In a democratic and open society like ours, individual responsibility prevails provided that third party property is respected. Hence, we each “run on our own” even if it is the responsibility of society’s structural organizations to train, inform, regulate and enforce the compliance with the rules of the group so as not to be “injured” by individual abusive forms of behaviour.
    Nonetheless, Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas is heedful of this problem and considers the issue of responsible drinking as a major challenge to its business. We aim to contribute with solutions which are beneficial to all interested parties, be it society, consumers or the company. This is where we are heading!
Part of the Heineken Company