Making his maiden speech as the new chairman of the British Beer and Pub Association at the APPBG Christmas party, David Forde MD of Heineken UK, told MPs that he welcomed the duty cuts on beer, which had been “vital in securing jobs in pubs, unlocking new investment in pubs and holding down prices for hard working pub goers”.
However, while he thanked MPs for their continued support, there remained challenges on issues like tax that needed to be addressed and called for support in tackling those.
He said there continued to be a strong body of champions for the trade through parliament, and said there appeared to be a real appreciation for beer and pubs and a will to see the industry flourish.
The Rugby World Cup had also proven a huge boost for the sector and he said with further sporting tournaments ahead in 2016, such as the UEFA European Championships, sport would continue to be an integral part of pub success, with the pub providing the next best thing to actually being there.
Taking over from outgoing chairman Jonathan Neame, Forde paid tribute to the work he had done for the BBPA over the last three years, which had seen campaigns like “There’s a beer for that” go from strength to strength.
Looking to the future he told MPs there would be an increased focus on pub food from the BBPA, and added: “We look forward to working with you all to continue to grow our industry, expand our exports, to better serve the British beer drinker and pub goer through investing in our pubs and our people.”
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