Enterprise Inns has called on all retailers of alcohol to "face up to their share of responsibility" ahead of tomorrow's meeting between Prime Minister Gordon Brown and drink retailers and producers.
In its financial year-end statement, Enterprise chief executive Ted Tuppen defended the on-trade's role in the growth of under-age and binge drinking, claiming that the pub was the "home of responsible drinking".
The combination of proof of age cards for drinkers under 21 and industry self-regulation reducing "irresponsible promotions" had led to the pub becoming a "highly regulated, professionally run environment", he said.
Tuppen questioned the pricing policies of major supermarkets and other off-trade outlets that sell alcohol at "very low prices" for consumption in an unregulated environment.
He also called on all sectors of the industry selling alcohol to take their share of responsibility in tackling the problems behind irresponsible drinking.
By Christopher Walton