Three beer duty cuts and a new spirit of entrepreneurship has led to more confidence in Britain’s brewing industry than at any time in the past 25 years; this was the message from BBPA Chairman, Jonathan Neame, when he addressed a seminar at the Milan Expo on ‘Working for growth: What role for beer and brewers?’ on 19th June.
The previous UK Government policy of large beer tax rises under the ‘escalator’ had cost 58,000 jobs, he told delegates, but now British beer was experiencing growth.
Industry action was fundamental in changing the Government’s mind, he said; the British Beer & Pub Association had worked with the whole supply chain and with consumers.
Working with MPs, using consistency level data produced by the BBPA with Oxford Economics had been important. This had focused on the job creation potential of the change in policy, especially given that 46 per cent of those working in the industry are under 25.
Jonathan Neame also highlighted a big and positive reputational shift on responsible retailing over the past six to seven years, through measures such as the Responsibility Deal, the billion unit reduction pledge, a very strong perforce on labelling, and support for Drinkaware.
The seminar coincided with the Brewers of Europe General Assembly, which gathers 60 to 70 brewer delegates, including company CEOs and national association directors, from 29 European beer-producing countries.