Everything from October 2013
At a recent meeting of the National Licensing Forum here at Brewers’ Hall, the Home Office gave a very useful update on the upcoming changes to licensing.
£3.5 million has been invested by Shepherd Neame in a new Waste Water Recovery Plant in Faversham. The site, a former Tesco distribution base was opened yesterday by the Rt. Hon Owen Paterson MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Andy Tighe and I were privileged to be present.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, is now law and whilst a ban on cash payments has been in effect since October, the wider Act will be enforced from 1st December this year. This long awaited piece of legislation will enhance the increasingly effective working relationships that Keg Watch has developed with both the Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies.
It is fair to say that Europe has not had the best economic luck over the past five years. Overall the economies of the EU have seen growth of three per cent from the beginning of 2008 up to the end of 2012. Of course many countries have fared much worse, and some have outperformed others. In contrast the world's emerging markets have continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate than before the global financial meltdown. It's therefore not a surprise that Europe's leading companies are looking to these markets for export growth.
Would doctors really ever recommend alcohol to patients?
This was one of the many questions considered at the Worldwide Brewing Alliance annual meeting that took place last week in the USA.
I enjoyed reading Steve Livens’ recent BBPA blog about Kent green hop brews and it is great that this style of beer is becoming popular. The blog gave the impression that this type of beer stemmed from the smaller brewers who have, by their nature “more room to manoeuvre”. However it may well be of interest to many that the original green hop brew came from a non-hop growing area of England and a brewery which in nautical terms could be classed as “quite a large old barge”!
‘Localism’ has been a Government buzzword since the last election, with the principle enshrined in law through the Localism Act 2011. However, it has arguably only been in the last year or so that local authorities have got up to speed and have begun to embrace the range of powers at their disposal.
Over 20,000 Servicemen and women leave our armed services each year. This is partly because of wastage and a natural end to a short service career, but in recent years the re-structuring of our Armed Forces has led to many being made redundant.
The BBPA is proud of its numbers! We have a long history of building a credible evidence base in the arguments we make. We work with a wealth of statistics in our day-to-day operations, so it makes sense for us to pull these together in one place for others to use, and help them understand the industry we support.
The brewing industry is built on innovation. Refrigeration, measurement of temperatures and specific gravity, development of pale malt, not to mention the knowledge of microbiology that keeps our beer fresh and has enabled control of the fermentation process itself. These innovations are on the one hand individual landmark scientific events and on the other are inextricably linked to the history and development of today's multinational brewers.
I was hugely honoured to be invited to the Barclays’Women of the Year lunch on Monday. As many of you will know, I am neither a big fan of all female events (which is just as well since most of the members of the BBPA are male!), nor am I particularly fond of lunch! I did, however, feel attracted to this event, chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and whose Financial Director is Diane Coyne from Brewers’ Hall.
In an earlier blog I spoke about how industry engagement in initiatives to ease the burden of red tape and regulation was starting to have an impact on the legislative and compliance environment. Now it seems that local authorities – certainly in many parts of the Midlands – are taking up the challenge by helping industry access their services much more quickly and efficiently.
*As Cask Ale Week 2013 draws to a close, Laura Moulden, from community pub group Admiral Taverns, discusses the significance of the event’s ‘Introduce a Friend’ theme for the British pub industry…*
I flew to Cologne at the weekend for ANUGA, one of the largest food and drink festivals in Europe. I was there at the invitation of UK Trade & Investment who asked me to attend the launch of the UK Food and Drink International Action Plan with Owen Paterson MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. We have been working with UKTI for some months now to develop a beer action plan as part of their export strategy and at this event they launched a plan to assist up to 200 alcohol producers to export more, with a targeted programme of inward and outward business visits to grow exports internationally.
Sitting in the beautiful early Norman church of St Peter and St Paul in the tranquil village of Ospringe, near Faversham, it felt like we were continuing an ancient tradition of the Blessing of the Hops.
The first point well worth flagging is, of course, the picture above. The Chairman of the BBPA's North West Executive, Richard Kershaw of Joseph Holt, arranged for the Chancellor, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, to receive the North West Beer Drinker's Champion award at Conference.
Bad enforcement by police, the licensing authority, fire officers and EHOs can be the bane of a pub operator’s life. Whether this is turning up to check paperwork at 9pm on a Saturday night, or over-zealous officers making licensees jump through multiple hoops with no evidence that there is even a problem at the premises, makes an already challenging job that little bit more difficult.
The Liberal Democrats chose to hold their conference in Glasgow this year at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference centre along the river Clyde. If you have not been to Glasgow for a while, it has been transformed, particularly around the river bank and as they prepare to host the Commonwealth Games next year, there is considerable investment in infrastructure. It was, however, a rather a complicated space for the Lib Dems and my abiding memory will be walking miles!
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