Fuller's chief executive: 'the great British pub will outlive us all'

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Great industry: Fuller's Simon Emeny is looking forward to representing the pub industry after becoming BBPA chairman
Great industry: Fuller's Simon Emeny is looking forward to representing the pub industry after becoming BBPA chairman

Related tags: Great british pub, British people, Public house

In an interview with The Morning Advertiser, Simon Emeny, chief executive of Fuller Smith & Turner plc and the new British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) chairman, spoke about his main concerns for the pub industry in 2018, offered advice to licensees on how they can weather the upcoming storm, and although there are "tough times ahead", explained why he still remains optimist about the trade's future.

Last week at the BBPA's annual general meeting, the association announced that Emeny would succeed David Forde​, managing director of Heinkenen UK, as chairman after his two "successful years" in office.

Emeny, who has been on the council for the last two years, said he is "delighted" to have been nominated by his peers for the chairman’s role.

"I feel incredibly proud and honoured – especially as we are entering such an historic period for the country and we will need to ensure the pub industry’s voice is heard, loud and clear," he said.

Serious headwinds

Speaking to MA​, Emeny said that as part of his new role he wanted to focus on business rates, recruitment needs and beer duty.

Explaining further, he said: "I want to see a level playing field for business rates – and an overhaul of an outdated system created in 1967, when times were very different to today.

"I’d also like to see the recruitment needs of our sector carefully considered during the Brexit process and combined with an increased focus on chefs and hospitality in schools and colleges.

"And last but by no means least, I’d like to see the Treasury continue to appreciate the contribution British beer and pubs make to UK plc, and reflect this by continuing to freeze, or even cut, beer duty."

While Emeny agreed 2018 was going to be a "tough year", he said that he was looking forward to representing the industry to Government.

"While it is true that there are a number of serious headwinds facing the pub industry, we are an industry that has survived numerous wars, recessions and turbulent times over the centuries," he continued.

"I’m looking forward to playing my part in representing this great industry to Government to ensure the pub industry is given the tools and tax breaks it needs to continue to deliver a warm respite and a great pint of British beer to the population of Great Britain in good times and bad."

What pubs are famous for

Recently there have been several warnings for the pub industry​, from business rates to inflation and from Brexit to the decline of beer sales. 

To try and weather the storm, Emeny advised: "There are lots of things an individual licensee can’t control – around the political and economic environment and, of course, the weather itself.

"However, they can control what goes on inside their pub and my advice is stick to what you, and the Great British pub in general, is famous for – great beer, good food, a warm welcome and a place for people to come together to celebrate and commiserate."

He added: "I think it’s going to be a tough year – but those pubs that offer great hospitality, a good beer range and delicious food will continue to survive.

"Let’s face it, the great British pub will outlive us all!"

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