SIBA backs Welsh brewers' social responsibility plea

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Alcoholism Beer

Jonathan Hughes at the Great Orme Brewery in Conwy
Jonathan Hughes at the Great Orme Brewery in Conwy
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has come out in support of a Welsh brewers’ call to the industry to take its social responsibility more seriously.

Jonathan Hughes from the Great Orme Brewery, based in Conwy, made the call after pledging to donate the money he will save from the Chancellor’s recent 1p duty reduction to the National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) charity.

He asked the industry to join him in using the duty drop to make a positive contribution to the wider community and address the “negative aspects” of alcohol.

Keith Bott, owner of Stoke-on-Trent based Titanic Brewery and chairman of the Society, said SIBA is “hugely supportive of the idea”.

“It encapsulates everything that the British brewing industry is about, in particular independent brewers and the way they can support the wider community,” he said.

“Every brewer will decide what they do themselves but this is a fantastic idea which illustrates one of the ways in which we can be supportive.”

Small but inspiring

Hughes has acknowledged that his contribution will be small in financial terms but said he hopes the move will encourage other breweries to follow suit.

He said: “British beer making is in a renaissance, with more small producers offering a wealth of amazing real ales and true regional diversity. We are very proud to be a small part of that diversity.

“However, I do believe that if we, as a sector, are to be socially responsible then we must acknowledge the potential negative aspects of alcohol and take steps to address it.

“My plan is that rather than pocketing that 1p duty reduction, we donate it to NACOA. I would call on other alcohol producers - big and small - to look at practical ways they can help reduce the effects of alcohol abuse on society.”

Sealed deal

Hughes sealed his pledge at the NACOA awards in June and has agreed to donate the full amount of the annual saving from the duty reduction to the charity.

Hilary Henriques MBE, the charity’s chief executive, thanked Hughes for his support and re-iterated his call for others in the industry to take notice.

“The NACOA helpline is funded entirely by voluntary donations and we applaud Jonathan Hughes of the Great Orme Brewery for the 1p Campaign – every penny will fund our work providing information, advice and support for children struggling with their parents alcohol problems, helping them to cope with difficult challenges, to become psychologically healthy, to experience happiness and to break the cycle of addiction,” she said.

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