Both pub companies and industry campaigners had called on the adjudicator to clarify the rights that were granted under the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act (SBEE) but were not mentioned in the pubs code.
The move from the PCA came after Greene King blamed the pubs code of creating “inconsistency and confusion” by omitting to clarify stocking rights.
A PCA bulletin, published this week, confirmed that premises were not tied just because the tenancy or licence contains a stocking requirement. However, it failed to provide any further detail and advised tenants to take their case to arbitration if they felt considered it did not meet the requirements.
The bulletin said: "This is a term that relates to either beer and/or cider produced by the landlord (or a group undertaking) and does not require the tenant to buy that beer or cider from a particular supplier, nor prevent that tenant from selling beer or cider produced by another (whether or not it restricts such sales)."
However, pubco campaigners this week said the announcement was “unhelpful” and failed again to clarify the issue.
British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This is an important aspect of the primary legislation. Section 68 of the SBEE Act 2015 sets out clearly that there are stocking rights for brewers that own pubs and are covered by the legislation. We continue to have a dialogue with the adjudicator on this and other issues relating to the operation of the legislation and code.”
A Greene King spokesperson said: “We welcome this clarification from the PCA and look forward to more being provided in future. We feel the more clarification the better for all parties.”