In total, 494 independent breweries are now enrolled on the FSQ scheme, which is designed to give confidence to retailers over food safety and quality assurance.
The FSQ scheme was launched in 2015 and provides members with a practical means of access to an independent quality-driven audit. It covers raw materials, brewing processes and record keeping, packaging process, cleaning regimes, premises maintenance, testing procedures, beer quality, and health and safety at work.
All of the breweries on the Beerflex scheme now have an FSQ certificate or other professional accreditation commissioned themselves such as Safe and Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) or British Retail Consortium (BRC) accreditation.
SIBA hopes to make having an FSQ audit or equivalent a requirement of SIBA full brewing membership by 2020.
SIBA operations director Nick Stafford said: "Modern consumer culture and many retailers demand food safety and quality assurance from professional brewing businesses. Retailers wish to identify professional brewing businesses that are seen to have an ongoing process of raising food safety and quality standards.
“Any brewing business aspiring to be a professional concern should be able to provide independent evidence of standards achieved. The FSQ does just that and has been created as a cost-effective way of achieving this for those brewers not ready for the likes of SALSA or BRC."
SIBA CEO Mike Benner added: "In a crowded marketplace, it is important that SIBA creates a clear path for our members to differentiate themselves to retailers when selling their beer, as they can prove they are professionally compliant. This accreditation will also give consumers confidence they are drinking the very best beer brewed by independent British craft breweries."
"We understand that it is important for some our smaller members who do not trade on Beerflex to witness the true value of the FSQ before making that decision to enrol into the audit and, for that reason, SIBA has given these breweries until 2020 to make that business decision,” Benner continued. “Within two years, SIBA will be able to prove and assure to all retailers and consumers that SIBA represents professional brewing businesses."
SIBA first launched its Beerflex scheme in 2003, under the name of Direct Delivery Scheme (DDS), before rebranding it in 2015. The scheme supplies 2,300 pubs and off-trade retailers across Britain with draught and bottled beer from SIBA brewers.