SIBA appoints new chief executive

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

New role: James Calder will become SIBA boss next month (1 July)
New role: James Calder will become SIBA boss next month (1 July)
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has appointed a new chief executive James Calder, replacing Mike Benner who is leaving to head up the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

Calder is currently the trade body’s head of public affairs and communication but will take up his new role as of 1 July.

Benner served five years at SIBA after joining in 2014 as managing director from his role as chief executive for the Campaign for Real Ale.

Increasingly challenging

On his new appointment, Calder said: “I’m delighted to be appointed to lead SIBA. We all know it’s an increasingly challenging environment out there for the UK’s independent brewers.

“But there are opportunities, too. Because of that, it is more important than ever SIBA is working well, fighting for brewers on the issues that matter and delivering genuine benefits. I’m excited to take SIBA on the next step of its journey.”

SIBA chairman Ian Fozzard outlined what Calder will bring to the table in his new role and what he has achieved as part of the organisation so far.

Campaigning work

He said: “Calder is an exciting choice as successor to Benner as we embark on this new phase in the organisation.

“He will bring youth, energy and new ideas. Calder has successfully led SIBA’s campaigning work on issues like Small Breweries’ Relief, deposit return schemes for drinks containers and our engagement with industry stakeholders. He has raised the political profile of SIBA immeasurably and will bring a new perspective.”

Chairman of the executive and SIBA commercial Francis Patton highlighted how he had been impressed with how Calder had advanced quickly within SIBA and built positive relationships with many brewers and SIBA stakeholders.

Outgoing chief executive Benner said: “Having worked closely with Calder over the past two years, I am delighted to hand over the lead role to him as we enter a new and exciting era for the independent craft beer sector.”

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