Tuesday, 7 March 2017

SIBA AGM - Sheffield 16th March 2017

Well, the motions for SIBA AGM are out... I am presenting two motions.

Some time ago I turned from being a vocal critic of SIBA, shouting from the sidelines, to working inside to make democratic change. In many ways I have been enjoying the efforts I put in. However, being a small business owner it can be quite time consuming and spending time away from the brewery to attend regional meetings and the policy committee meetings that I am involved with is difficult.

This is a key point really in my considerations. A point that I will labour in my total of 10 minutes at the podium. The fact that the average SIBA member produces around 1000hl of beer a year. Representing perhaps £200,000 turnover. If you understand the margins on beer you will easily see that it is very difficult to make a decent living at this level.

Half of the SIBA membership is smaller than this.

It seems, at least when it comes to the brewery, I am about average in size. We brew perhaps slightly over 1000hl per year.

I find it difficult to engage with SIBA in a meaningful way, predominantly time and distance being the barrier, and I am possibly not as time constrained as brewing businesses smaller than me. It is my belief that SIBA fails to accurately represent the majority of it's membership, but changing that is not likely to be easy if the majority of the membership does not engage.

To that end, if you are a SIBA member and cannot attend the AGM please invoke your right to send a vote by proxy.

Let's be heard.

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My motion that is listed as motion 3 has raised one or two questions.... yes, I believe PBD should be defended as is, and will state so in my speech. However, in reality motion 3 is presented as a defence in case motion 4 is passed. If there is an independent review then changes to PBD must be considered alongside the fact that meaningful access to tied markets is still not improving, despite MRO.

I make no bones about it, motion 4 would be much better rejected and a clear message sent from the membership that PBD should stay unchanged.