Big brewers set to join new-look SIBA

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Related tags: Brewers, Member of parliament, Siba

The campaigning future of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) will be shaped from October 1 as the UK's biggest brewers decide whether they...

The campaigning future of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) will be shaped from October 1 as the UK's biggest brewers decide whether they will be involved in a new-look version of the trade body.

A number of larger brewers are poised to join SIBA under new membership conditions that deny them voting rights, according to SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock.

At the organisation's AGM in March, SIBA members unanimously agreed to limit full membership to brewers producing fewer than 200,000 hectolitres per year.

Brewers producing over this volume will still be able to join under a new 'associate member' status after October 1, but this is the date from which the organisation will begin operating under the new conditions.

Microbrewers had been concerned that larger members, especially those owning sizeable pub estates, could exert undue influence. The move - which affected then full members Fuller's, Shepherd Neame and Marston's - proved controversial, with Fuller's at the time labeling it a snub.

Grocock told The Publican ​that one of the three former full members had already committed to becoming an associate member, while "one of the brewers was likely to commit and one had not yet indicated a decision".

Two brewers producing volume above the threshold who were not previously SIBA members have also signed up to associate membership, he added. This includes the Heineken Group, owner of Caledonian.

Grocock said: "The actual outcome of creating a clear definition of membership is that it makes it easier for me to engage with people beyond the size limit."

Related topics: Beer

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