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Winery CEO agrees that 'rooi proppie' and other cheap dop must be regulated

5 October 2020 6:42 PM
Tags:
Alcohol abuse
SAMRC
rooi proppie
cheap wine
boxed wine
Orange River Cellars
bag-in-box wine

The CEO of Orange River Cellars Charl du Plessis says he supports the call to regulate the pricing of cheap wine products such as the so-called rooi proppie drink.

Rooi proppie is an infamous cheap wine often sold in unbranded plastic containers with red caps, targeted mainly at poor people living in farming communities.

Professor Charles Parry, of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), says the production of rooi proppie and other cheap alcohol products is contributing to alcohol abuse among South Africa's poor.

Prof Parry explains that the burden of heavy drinking is the highest among the country's poorer population.

He adds that the pricing of alcohol, including bag-in-box (BIB) wine, is a contributing factor to high levels of alcohol misuse in poorer communities.

RELATED: SA wine industry calls for return of weekend alcohol sales

Parry argues that the wine industry and the government need to implement a minimum floor price for alcohol in South Africa.

He proposes that wine should cost no less than roughly R40 per litre.

It's becoming clear that the wine industry wants to be part of the solution, they want to sell wine at the weekends, but there are a couple of problems. One is the rooi proppie.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

The harm is much worse per litre in the poorer communities... It's not to say that only poor people have heavy-drinking problems. It is part of the problem.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

There is no magic bullet but a minimum floor price for alcohol is something we should be discussing.

Prof Charles Parry, Director - Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at SAMRC

Orange River Cellars is a winery in the Northern Cape which produces a range of wine products, including rooi proppie.

CEO Charl du Plessis says he agrees that the price point must be increased to curb excessive consumption.

While he supports some kind of regulation, du Plessis says he foresees the discontinuation of the rooi proppie offering in the next five years as its popularity steadily declines.

He also adds that poor people will always find an alternative cheap alcohol drink even without rooi proppie in the market.

Du Plessis says the industrywide minimum price for rooi proppie and boxed wine should be R30 per litre.

I support Professor Parry, if you institute measures to make it less accessible, especially to certain segments that are associated with social ills related to alcohol abuse, then that must happen.

Charl du Plessis, CEO - Orange River Cellars

My view is [that we need] a more effective measure. Say, for example, you push up the price point to R30 per lite on the shelf, then you will curb alcohol abuse.

Charl du Plessis, CEO - Orange River Cellars

The essence is that is is about cheap alcohol... A lot of cheap wine is finding it's way to BIB and there's a lot of BIB that actually lower than rooi proppie in price point.

Charl du Plessis, CEO - Orange River Cellars

Rooi proppie is just made of wine. There's nothing else in it. It's declining as a category by 10% to 15% year on year. The younger generation doesn't want to associate with the product due to its history. They see it as something leads to abuse.

Charl du Plessis, CEO - Orange River Cellars

Listen to the in-depth discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


5 October 2020 6:42 PM
Tags:
Alcohol abuse
SAMRC
rooi proppie
cheap wine
boxed wine
Orange River Cellars
bag-in-box wine

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