8 things brewers should do to prepare for a no deal scenario
The Treasury have launched a questionnaire to all brewers, reviewing SBR.
SIBA, the Society of Independent Brewers, was established in 1980 to represent the interests of the growing number of independent breweries in Britain.
An ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ is a brewery which has agreed to abide by SIBA’s Food Safety & Quality standard – meaning you get a beer of the highest quality, crafted with the utmost care.
More specifically the scheme of standards will include:
Our motive for signing up was not to continue trading with Beerflex but more to confirm that the brewery was operating within the law and the processes and methods we had in place were correct. Coming into the industry without formal experience meant that I was unfamiliar with these things and I had nothing but advice and my own initiative to go on. Preparation for the audit motivated me to ensure that the administrative side of the brewery was up to spec and had things such as HACCP and COSSH in place, as we initially started as a two man band these things were low on the list of priorities to begin with. The auditor (Ian Smith) had spent many years in a brewery environment and was extremely well versed and well selected on SIBA’s part. He was able to highlight what we were doing well and where we fell short. Another benefit was to have someone with such experience with you for the best part of a day in your brewery and I was able to ask question about things outside his remit and draw on his expertise to improve our methods.
In terms of pass or fail it is more or less irrelevant. We would have failed on the day, were it structured in such a way. The critical and major issues that were discovered, one in our case was no product liability, can often be resolved on the day, all it took was a phone call to the insurance company for example. We were given advice before the auditor left and then a few days later you are presented with a draft of the audit, before it is submitted, to allow you to begin resolving any remaining issues.
Once the report is in the hands of SIBA it is referred to their moderator and it is he who reviews the evidence you provide, that issues are correctly resolved before any certificate is issued and with us it took no longer than a few weeks.
The whole process for me was not unnerving, but actually informative and I must stress having an expert in your environment is far more valuable than I realised.
So in conclusion, you don’t just get a certificate that tell others that you are compliant, the whole process makes you look at your business holistically and gives you the confidence that you are in full control. You know your product, staff and plant are safe.
Chris@idlevalleybrewery: March 2nd, 2017.
We are working towards solutions for the recommendations made by Don Jeffrey. It was refreshing to meet an auditor with such vast and valuable knowledge and experience specific to the brewing industry and many of his comments and suggestions were extremely helpful. Please pass on our thanks to him for sharing his expertise and advice.
Brigitte@allendalebrewery: March 9th, 2017
May I take this opportunity to say that Don Jeffries was absolutely amazing as an Auditor. We have never undertaken an Audit & were unsure as to what to expect.
Don was hugely knowledgeable & helpful. He guided us through the whole process.
We understand more about what is required, have a few areas in which we need to improve.
In a strange way – we enjoyed every minute of it & left the Audit with greater knowledge & understanding.
He’s a top man!
Jeff@consettaleworks: June 19th, 2017
The booking process was seamless, and the time scales involved were reasonable. The auditor allocated was very helpful and supportive and all in all the whole process was informative and essential for our operation as we endeavour to be the very best we can and that is why we chose to join SIBA in the first place
Dave@Priorswell: June 26th, 2017
I am a fan of these initiatives, as it gives us a benchmark on what others are doing, and hopefully drives improvement in our business.
In relation to the process, we found Rachel Evans to be very helpful, and had a very pleasant manner in the way she asked probing questions.
My only request would be that your HACCP tool had the flexibility to add a section on local risks e.g. we are on a flood plain, and we take various preventative measures during the winter months to minimise risk/disruption, and there was nowhere to capture these types of risk.
David@Broughton Ales: July 20th, 2017
Was a bit nerve wracking, but very useful, and Mark Tetlow was frankly superb, and a wealth of information. He helped a great deal with getting us up to speed, and I think he will have enabled us to get our food safety standards to a much higher level. Furthermore he provided a deal of additional information to help us out. I have had other audits where it has felt a lot more like a test, however with Mark it was much more about helping us get to the standards needed. All in all, a very useful experience.
Keir@Springhead: August 24th, 2017
As regards the audit, we were very happy with John who undertook the audit, my only concern with ourselves being a small microbrewery was the time it took me to fully concentrate in completing the criteria necessary to achieve this, when we have a very limited team, and resources away from the busy day of Brewing, racking, Delivering and a huge amount of paperwork besides the audit. However, you guys have been very patient, and allowed the necessary time in those circumstances to complete, it has also highlighted some areas of improvement which we have implemented to assist, and help our existing procedures.
Scott@Bullmastiff: October 6th, 2017
The booking process was simple and easy. The tools available from SIBA were very helpful. Graeme Hall (Auditor) was pleasant and helpful. The audit was good for the business in terms of making us drill down into each and every process, a valuable exercise
Waseem@BeerBrothers: January 30th, 2018
For any queries of questions you may have please contact the SIBA FSQ team at email@example.com
Background to FSQ
To read more about why SIBA’s Food Safety Quality (FSQ) was created please read Mike Benner’s Last Word column from December’s issue of the SIBA Journal.