The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has responded to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee inquiry on Brand Britain: Promoting and Marketing British food and drink. Beer is the third largest Food and Drink Export category, exporting to over 120 countries, but the BBPA believes that more can be done to promote British beer around the world. This includes more involvement in the early stages of project development, to Government adopting multi-year budgets for exports which gives companies sufficient time to plan and budget. There needs to be a greater understanding of cost and availability in individual markets which can identify brands best suited to these countries. The BBPA believes that DEFRA and DIT should convene a meeting of Estate Managers and Chefs from key third country markets to do a Food and Drink promotional course in the UK. This event would allow embassies and consulates to understand food and drink matching, as well as opportunities for British exporters to speak to key decision makers in these markets about what is on offer, where and at what price. There is also a need for a proactive promotion of the British beer brand, but both ‘Craft is Great’ and ‘Heritage is Great’ are too narrow a description to convey the excellent range of British Beer. There has been considerable success with inbound trade missions which matched UK brewers to Canadian buyers. It is best practice which could be developed for other markets. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “British beer is an export success story, but with the right support it could achieve our stated aim of increasing exports by £100 million over the next five years. There needs to be a more innovative and joined-up approach from Government which engages with the industry, builds on best practice such as inward missions and provides flexible budgets which works for the industry in promoting British exports. “British brewing is a world class industry which already exports to 120 countries round the world. The Export Strategy is a key feature of our website and we are keen to work with DEFRA and DIT to grow British beer exports and build a unique British beer brand.”
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has predicted that England fans will drink 14 million extra pints at the pub during the World Cup group stages, as they cheer on the England squad in their games against Tunisia, Panama and Belgium. The extra number of pints drunk during the World Cup group stages could provide as much as a £42 million boost to the economy, with the Great British pub being one of the main benefactors of a surge in demand for beer as fans cheer on the England team at their local. The taxman will be cheering the loudest as England progress through the group stages of the competition. With beer duty, the extra tax put on beer in addition to VAT, meaning that HMRC could get an additional windfall as high as £6.3 million from beer drinkers and pub-goers watching England at the World Cup. With the friendly timings of England’s group stage fixtures meaning that the Three Lions will play Tunisia and Belgium in the evenings after work and Panama at the weekend, as well as fewer fans travelling to the tournament itself to catch the games, the Great British pub is set to be the place to watch England’s World Cup matches this summer. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “When it comes to watching England at the World Cup, only being at the game itself can compare with being in the pub. Millions of England fans will be going to the pub to cheer on the team with their friends, which is both great for the local pub and great for the England team. Let’s hope the England team do us proud!”
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to the Treasury’s consultation on cash and digital payments in the new economy. Whilst the BBPA has acknowledged the growing trend towards digital payments in its response, it has cautioned the Government’s involvement in the payments market as unintended consequences for cash-based businesses are still being felt. As an example of this, the BBPA has highlighted the recent implementation of the EU Payment Services Directive, which only recently came into force in January 2018. Since its implementation, the Directive has meant that many pubs now require a minimum spend to help offset the cost of providing digital payment services to their customers, without directly passing the cost on to them through higher prices. The BBPA has noted that this disproportionately effects the local pub that wants to offer convenient services to attract customers, without having to raise prices and risk losing business. The cost of offering a digital payment service can be as much as 20p per use to the publican and as the average cost of a pint in the UK is £3.39 for beer and £3.05 for cask ale (or 5.9% and 6.6%, respectively, of a pint), many pubs must set a minimum spend on digital payments to ensure they don’t cut too deep into their already squeezed margins. Finally, the BBPA has reminded the Treasury in its response to the consultation that cash-based entertainment options ranging from betting machines to snooker tables form an important part of a pub’s offer. Should the Government continue to legislate around digital payments, the BBPA would encourage them to look at accepting digital payments for entertainment options like these. Keeping two distinct systems is costly and punitive to business and discriminatory to customers. BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments: “A shift towards digital payments across the world of commerce is clearly taking place. Whilst this can be good for busy pubs where payments at the bar are much faster for customers, Government intervention towards such innovation needs to be well thought through. If not, cash-based businesses such as pubs could be unfairly burdened. In due course, it would be good to see an increase in the maximum limit for contactless payments from £30 to £50.”
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