Nine craft beer associations from across Europe have announced that they intend to form a pan-European trade association, which will be called the Independent Brewers of Europe (IBE).
Bodies from France, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands and the Czech Republic have agreed to form the new association, which will represent the interests of independent brewers across the continent.
The combined membership of all nine associations stands at approximately two thousand brewers, and SIBA will allow members to lobby on issues such as regulation, taxation and access to market, and aims to give independent brewers the tools to “make their voice heard” in an industry dominated by major multi-nationals.
The announcement was made following successful discussions between the nine organisations in Brussels. The nine organisations who took part in the discussions were:
Mike Benner, chief executive of SIBA said: “We’re very pleased to see progress in establishing a much-needed voice for independent brewing organisations across Europe.
“The craft beer revolution has spread across the continent and with well over 5,000 breweries the sector is well-placed to supply the diverse range of high-quality beers demanded by today’s discerning drinkers.
“We know that beer drinkers in the UK care about the provenance of beers and it’s clear that the same applies across Europe. Bonded by our independence I hope a strong and united voice will result from these early discussions.
“The European beer market remains dominated by global big beer, despite the swing in consumer demand to craft-brewed beer.
“As the UK’s exit from the EU draws closer I’m pleased that we will be able to work with groups similar to SIBA to the commercial benefit of our members, sharing best practice and ideas to help develop the sector for all.”
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