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  • BBPA calls for urgent inquiry into poor conduct by energy suppliers

    24 January 2023

    The British Beer and Pub Association has today called on Chairs of Treasury and Business Select Committees to conduct an urgent inquiry into worrying reports of poor conduct from energy suppliers  The British Beer and Pub Association has today written to Harriett Baldwin MP and Darren Jones MP, Chairs of the Treasury and Business Select Committee respectively, to urge them to convene an immediate inquiry into the energy sector and potential instances of profiteering.  Introduced in October, the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme was intended to bring down energy costs for millions of businesses but has since had little positive impact for the brewing and pub sector. The trade body is reporting countless examples of price hikes and poor practice which in many cases have meant the impact of Government support is effectively nil, and has led to suspicions of profiteering on the back of taxpayers’ money.   Reports from publicans and brewers include sharp increases in non-energy costs being layered onto bills, harsh new terms and conditions, requirements for enormous up-front security deposits and even flat out refusing to contract with hospitality businesses at all.   The BBPA has written to the energy regulator Ofgem which is investigating the claims, but says there is a need for action immediately to prevent what is already becoming the number one cause of business failure in the sector. The BBPA is calling on MPs in Westminster to demand an explanation from energy suppliers for the current state of the market. It is also essential that the recent reduction in wholesale prices is reflected in energy bills quickly.   Gemma Gardener who runs The York in Morecambe said: “Not only have our energy bills been extortionate, but our supplier has also added on extra unexpected charges outside of our standard rates, from a £2k installation fee to doubling our daily hire charge unexpectedly.   “We have tried to switch suppliers but been rejected, and the only reason we’re able to keep going is because our pub company is helping us through. We’re struggling with our bills but so are our customers and so we’re being squeezed at both ends.   “Not knowing what we’ll be charged month on month is incredibly scary, this isn’t only our business but our home and we’re at the mercy of our energy suppliers.”  Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:   “The spiralling cost of energy has been our members’ number one concern for close to a year now and remains so. Now, multiple reports of poor practice have compelled us to speak up on behalf of suffering businesses and make this urgent call.  “There is no doubt that this is causing businesses to fail – people simply cannot afford to make ends meet and are left with no choice but to shut up shop meaning a community loses its pub or brewery, and the jobs and livelihoods that go with it, for good.  “The Government put this support measure in place to stop this very thing from happening, but the energy suppliers just don’t seem to be playing fair. The damage being wrought on our sector is enormous and I hope that MPs will heed this call and investigate the issues fully.” 

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  • More planning time needed for effective Deposit Return Scheme, says BBPA

    20 January 2023

    Responding to the publication of the Government response to their second Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) consultation, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The delay to the implementation of a DRS in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland until October 2025 at the earliest is a positive move. To ensure a functioning and effective scheme across all UK nations it is crucial that enough planning time is provided, and that learnings are applied from the Scottish DRS, which is due to begin in August this year. With this in mind, we are urging the Government to swiftly appoint a deposit management organisation to ensure businesses are provided with requirement information as early as possible. “With less than eight months until the go live date in Scotland it is imperative that DEFRA, HMT and HMRC provide further information on VAT on deposits as a matter of urgency. Businesses are unable to fully cost and plan for the impact of a DRS without this detail. The complex nature of DRS means the operational challenge is extremely large and it is crucial further information is provided as we move ever nearer to the implementation date in Scotland if the scheme is to operate effectively and efficiently. It is also critical for businesses that operate across the UK that the schemes are interoperable, as entirely separate schemes add unnecessary risks and complications for businesses in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

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  • Breweries and pubs are on the road to Net Zero

    19 January 2023

    Breweries and pubs across the UK have started the New Year with green ambition and are sharing the ways in which they are innovating to make their businesses more sustainable in the run up to World Earth Day In the coming weeks, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) will be sharing how pubs and brewers are making their businesses more sustainable in a selection of stories and examples on a dedicated website, designed to inspire and support others to make green changes to their own businesses. Brewing Green, the dedicated website run by the BBPA, acts as a dedicated knowledge hub for brewers and pubs looking to reduce their environmental impact and the 2023 iteration will launch in April ahead of World Earth Day. From real life examples of initiatives to a carbon calculator developed in partnership with Zero Carbon Forum which helps businesses see their impact and how they can make changes, Brewing Green demonstrates the steps being taken by the sector and provides resources for them to keep moving forward on their journey.  From regional companies to international brewers, the examples show that even small changes can make a big difference. For Glaswegian Brewer Tennents, their ‘Pint & a Plan’ events, held in pubs across Scotland, served as a way for people to find out more about how they’re making their business more sustainable and what steps individuals can take to have their own positive impact…all over a pint, of course! Meanwhile, Suffolk based brewer Adnams has managed to reduce water usage across their brewing process through assessing how water flowed across the lifecycle of their products so they could plan in mitigation from the start. They expect to save two million litres of water throughout 2023. Dr Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams said: “We have for decades looked to minimise our impact on the environment whenever we can, we’re committed to finding new ways of making a bigger difference.   “We have received the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development three times and we will keep working hard at doing what we do without its costing the earth.” Over the coming months, the BBPA will be sharing member examples on the Brewing Green site, demonstrating the different ways they are working towards net zero. The release of the stories will culminate in a parliamentary showcase to highlight the economic and social potential of the brewing and pub industry and why the Government must invest in its future. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:  “Ours is an industry that is deeply rooted in the history and heritage of this country, but it is also one we want to not just be fit for but thrive in the future.  “Brewers and pubs across the country are making great progress on their sustainability goals and are keen to share their ideas so others can do the same. We want to support them to continue in this brilliant and necessary work and help the industry to make the changes needed to reach Net Zero.  “Pubs and breweries are deeply rooted in communities across the country and want to have a positive impact on both the people they serve and the environment as a whole, so we’re really proud of our members work in this space and will continue to promote and support their efforts in whatever way we can.” For more information and to read about how pubs and breweries are becoming more sustainable, visit brewinggreen.org

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  • Got a great idea brewing? Applications now open for the Brewers’ Research and Education Fund

    11 January 2023

    The Brewers’ Research and Education Fund (BREF) 2023/2024 is now open for applications, with the judging board on the lookout for the brightest and best ideas to benefit the brewing and pub industry. For over a decade, BREF has annually supported ideas that seek to improve and support the UK brewing industry, including through awards for projects focusing on the benefits of moderate beer consumption, sustainability, hygiene, hop diversification and educational activities. The fund is an opportunity for individuals, groups or organisations to be creative in thinking about how the brewing process, breweries and their supply chains could be supported to make their work even better. Created through funds originally provided by the BBPA, BREF is now administered through the Worshipful Company of Brewers as trustees , with the BBPA promoting the fund and providing the secretariat. Nick Tindal, Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Brewers said: “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.” Applications will be judged by an Advisory Committee made up of leaders and experts from across the industry, including Richard Westwood (Chair of the BREF Advisory Committee), Andrew Runcie (MCUK), Fergus Fitzgerald (Adnams) Georgina Young (St. Austell Brewery), Miles Jenner (Harvey and Sons). Applications can be made via the BBPA’s website. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “You only have to look at the diverse selection of beers on offer at the bar to see just how creative brewers are. “As an industry we strive for brilliance and this fund seeks to support that passion and enthusiasm for innovation in our craft to develop and keep Great British beer thriving.” For more information or to apply visit the BBPA website.

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  • Reduction in level of energy support 'extremely worrying'

    10 January 2023

    Following the announcement by the Treasury that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme would be extended for 12 months but at a significantly reduced rate, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:   “We are very disappointed by the Treasury’s announcement which will mean a dramatic drop in extended energy support relief for pubs come April.  “Whilst the Government has accepted the need for continued energy bill support for another 12 months, the reduction in the level of this support is extremely worrying and comes at a time of acute pressure on pubs.   “We welcome the recognition of breweries as energy and trade intensive and this will help alleviate some of this pressure in our sector, but we have been clear with Government about the continued vulnerability of businesses across our industry and the ongoing challenges pubs and breweries face. We are aware of the pressure that public finances are under, but energy costs are the single biggest threat to the industry right now to once strong healthy businesses.     “Significant price increases will be the last straw for businesses who have been struggling for three years to remain solvent and serving their communities. We urge the Chancellor to continue to work with us in looking at how additional support can be provided to particularly vulnerable businesses across the UK that mean so much to so many but could close because of the energy price crisis.   “It is also vitally important that the Government works with the regulator to crack down on supplier bad practice, which continues to increase their energy costs and hamper many businesses in our sector. ” 

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  • Breweries and pubs are #OpenToAll - BBPA response to opinion piece

    09 January 2023

    At the end of last week, Propel, a media outlet reporting on the hospitality and retail industries, published an opinion piece containing transphobic rhetoric. As an organisation representing thousands of businesses in communities across the UK we would like to publicly condemn the content of the piece and the huge misjudgement by Propel to publish it, a decision they deeply regretted and are now taking actions to make it right. The piece was objectionable and does not reflect the views of our industry, organisations, or our members. We hope the Propel team will learn from their mistake and commit to the journey to understand how important diversity and inclusivity is and champion those on this journey. Our members are proud to create spaces for people from all walks of life to come together and connect with one another. Places that are welcoming, open to all and strive to be inclusive for everyone regardless of their background. Being inclusive and promoting diversity throughout the hospitality industry is not an option but a core pillar of our work as trade associations. Businesses are stronger for it and can provide better experiences for customers and employees alike by putting this agenda front and centre in their operations and values. Through the commitments in the #OpenToAll Charter and in collaboration with our members and other industry leaders, we will continue to prioritise diversity and inclusion, learn from lived experiences of staff and customers, call out discrimination and champion the real and genuine benefits of workplaces and venues that are diverse, inclusive, and open to all.  

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