BHETA secures Challenge 25 strategy for kitchen knives

Following a meeting between BHETA (British Enhancement Trade Association) and the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) to discuss the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group’s (RASG) Challenge 25 scheme retailing strategy, BHETA has confirmed to members that this initiative can now be extended to cover the sale of other aged-related goods, specifically kitchen knives.

Challenge 25 was originally developed for use in alcohol sales. The initiative encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID when they want to buy alcohol, such as a card bearing the PASS (the government-backed Proof of Age Standards Scheme) hologram, a photocard driving licence or a passport.

BHETA said: “Challenge 25 has proved successful both in terms of awareness among young people and as an aid to retail staff involved in the sale of age-sensitive products.

‘There is a suite of designs, from posters to shelf barkers to badges, for use in reinforcing the Challenge 25 message throughout the retail environment. The signage in red and black makes it clear that under 25s must now expect to be challenged to prove their age. It also spells out the heavy fines which could follow for those caught breaking the law.’

BHETA added that Challenge 25’s extension will – for the first time ever – not only include point-of-sale items but also supplier packaging, which can now carry Challenge 25 graphics.

This development is the outcome of a consultative retailer and supplier workshop on knife retailing hosted by BHETA in May which followed an initial consultation in March. Retailer attendees included representatives from John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Dunelm, Steamer Trading, T K Maxx, Elys of Wimbledon and Harts of Stur. They joined members from BHETA, BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association) and executives from knife suppliers Taylor’s Eye Witness, Amefa, Fiskars, Meyer, Haus, Burton McCall, Kuhn Rikon and Robert Welch Designs.

BHETA chief operating officer Will Jones said commented: “With the personal consequences of illegal sales for the member of shop staff becoming more severe – and more widely applicable as we have seen with the retail of kitchen knives – it is vital that retailers get every assistance in their area of responsibility.

“One of the areas of consensus in our supplier/retailer workshop was that a standardised system of knife labelling, which could be adopted universally by knife suppliers, could be of considerable help to knife retailers. We therefore approached RASG to investigate the potential for using the existing Challenge 25 concept and I’m delighted to be able to confirm that RASG felt that this was a good idea.”

WSTA compliance manager Kelly Moss added: “I will now create the necessary artwork and make it available on the RASG website for use with specific, age-related goods beyond alcohol and including bladed articles. As a body, RASG wants to promote responsible retailing, and inclusion of Challenge 25 on knives/bladed article packaging acts as an additional measure to ensure that both consumers and retail staff are aware of the age restrictions for those goods.”

Will concluded: “This is a first in a series of initiatives that we hope to take to help retailers address this complex issue with positive measures – and we will be working with WSTA and RASG to get all the relevant retail materials to the suppliers and retailers concerned.”

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