Meat, fruit, cheese, vegetables and sweets are among many foodstuffs that can be bought loose, by which I mean not pre-packaged. When a small quantity of such goods is requested, we are not charged more pro rata, even though it takes the same time to serve it compared to a larger amount, the wrapping won't be much different, and both staff wages and the cost of cleaning the shop will be the same.
My local rounds up to the nearest penny, and I'd say that rounding up to the nearest 5p is reasonable. The industry is anxious to be seen to be promoting 'responsible drinking', but surcharging for halves contradicts that aim as it discourages people from choosing the smaller measure. In addition, where there is a choice of different real ales, some drinkers like to try several, and may do so by buying halves. If they have eight halves in a pub with a 50p surcharge per half, they will pay an extra £4 compared to their mates who drank four pints.
I don't hold out much hope for the success of CAMRA's campaign on this issue, but they are right to highlight it. Pub prices are a sensitive issue anyway, and if people start to baulk at paying them, the winners will be Wetherspoons and the supermarkets. Customers have many more options nowadays than they used to, and will exercise them if they feel they are being ripped off. Any pub that insists on adding a surcharge to the price of a half should - at the very least - make it clear on price lists that are both accessible and easily visible. Many do not.