The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to scrap the settled status fee. The fee had meant that EU citizens would be charged £65 to claim settled status after the UK leaves the European Union, with an additional charge of £32.50 for any dependents. Analysis by the BBPA suggests that 71,000 EU nationals working in pubs will benefit from the settled status fee being scrapped, saving £4.6 million in total for those employed by the pub sector. The decision will also reduce unnecessary paperwork for publicans across the UK, the majority of which operate as small businesses. Some pub businesses had offered to pay the settled status fee for their EU staff, prior to the Prime Ministers decision to scrap it. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments: “The Prime Minister’s decision to scrap the settled status fee for EU nationals is a big boost for Britain’s pubs and their workforce. As many as 71,000 EU nationals will benefit from the decision, saving around £4.6 million in total. “The vast majority of pubs operate as small businesses, so the scrapping of the settled status fee will be of huge relief to those publicans who faced unnecessary admin and knock on costs from it. “Brewers and pubs employ as much as 24% of their workforce from overseas, rising to 40% in metropolitan areas and in some roles, such as kitchen staff, up to 80%. Already, companies have seen the number of EU workers in our sector decline. As a result, many companies were prepared to pay the cost of settled status for their colleagues who had committed to staying. This is a good decision and supports vital employees in pubs and across the hospitality sector. “This decision shows that the Government has been listening to the concerns of the beer and pub sector as well as the wider business community.”
A major grants fund for scientific research and education in the brewing industry has begun inviting applications for funding in 2019/20. Under the Brewers’ Research & Education Fund (BREF), applicants have just under three months to submit their bids, with a deadline for funding applications of 31st March 2019. Full details of the applications process can be obtained via the British Beer & Pub Association website. The BREF supports vital research into projects of potential benefit to the brewing industry, such as improving brewery environmental footprint, dispense hygiene surveys and developing new hop varieties, as well as a range of educational activities. The fund was created through proceeds from the sale of the BBPA’s original headquarters in Portman Square, central London. The Worshipful Company of Brewers acts as Trustee and administers the fund, with the BBPA promoting the fund and providing the secretariat. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments: “The Brewers’ Research & Education Fund has supported many important projects over the years and is an important legacy from the Brewers’ Society and the Institute of Brewing. I’m delighted the fund is open for another year and look forward to receiving applications.” Michael O'Dwyer, The Clerk to the Brewers' Company, comments: “The Brewers’ Research & Education Fund is a great example of the Brewers' Company’s focus on investing in the future of the brewing industry. As the Trustee of the fund, the Brewers’ Company looks forward to awarding grants to another selection of valuable industry research projects and the opportunity to further education in beer and brewing.”
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today commented on the findings of a survey by the Portman Group, which found that there has been a boom in the popularity of low and no alcohol alternatives. Figures from the survey show that nearly a quarter (24%) of British drinkers have either already switched some of their drinking to low alcohol alternatives or would consider doing so in the next six months. The findings follow ongoing investment and innovation in low and no alcohol beers by UK brewers, which has been key to the low and no alcohol boom, says the BBPA. Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, comments: “The boom in the popularity of low and no alcohol products, as shown by the Portman Group’s survey, is very encouraging. With the significant investment and innovation in low and no alcohol beers by UK brewers, beer has been a key part of this growth. “The skill and craft needed to brew low and no alcohol beers is no different to normal strength beers, meaning they taste great and quality is not compromised. With a bigger range of low and no alcohol beers than ever before, there has never been a better time to give them a go! “Although we are experiencing a boom in the low and no alcohol part of the category, there is a real need for the Government to engage and help our industry to promote these products and bring the guidance on alcohol descriptors in line with that of our European neighbours. There is growing interest in moderate alcohol consumption as the survey by the Portman Group shows and we need everyone to work together to make it easier for consumers to understand what is on offer and create real choice.”  Figure from YouGov PLC. Total sample size was 2004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th December 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).