Membership Criteria Review – Q&A
- Why did SIBA review its Membership Criteria and how long did it take?
SIBA’s Membership Criteria Review started approximately 2 years ago. This review was part of SIBA’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.
- How did SIBA consult its members throughout the Membership Criteria Review?
SIBA has consulted widely to establish this revised membership criteria – this included a Membership Review Group, feedback from SIBA’s Regional Meetings, a national Membership Ballot, direct contact with members, social media polls, members consultancy with SIBA’s elected Directors.
- What were the key issues that required attention as part of the review?
The key issues identified were as follows:
SIBA should be inclusive of ‘independent’ but ‘exclusive’ of Global brewers as SIBA seeks to represent British independent breweries and serve those who do NOT dominate the market.
Global brewers are producing so called ‘craft beers’ to compete against the beers produced by many of SIBA’s members.
- What happened to the Membership Criteria Guidelines the Board communicated in February 2018?
The Board agreed new Membership Criteria Guidelines in February and submitted a motion to the AGM asking members to ratify the inclusion of the guidelines in the Members’ Charter. These guidelines had been created to give regions guidance when considering membership applications.
However, the motion was defeated by 63 to 61 votes. As with all motions, other than Special Resolutions which require a 75% majority, all results are not binding on the Board in accordance with SIBA’s constitution. The Board uses this information to guide its decision-making process.
Following the debate, it was not clear to the Board why all 63 members (including 23 proxy votes) voted against hosting the guidelines in the Members’ Charter and therefore the Board consulted further with members between March and June 2018, in particularly at regional meetings. This feedback was considered in the Board’s final decision at the Board meeting (13th June).
- What are the outcomes from the Membership Criteria Review?
SIBA’s membership is open to all British independent breweries brewing up to 1% of the UK beer market which share our values and principles. Global breweries can no longer join SIBA. Associate Brewing membership category has been scrapped.
1% of the UK beer market is approx. 430,000HL (Source: BBPA)
Level 6 Membership – British Independent Brewers brewing between 200,000 HL and 1% of the UK beer market will have opportunity to apply for a new Level 6 membership. These Level 6 applications will receive rigorous special analysis, including taking into account the view of the relevant region, to make sure applicants reflect SIBA’s values and principles – set out in Members’ Charter.
Level 6 members will pay between £2,360-£5,000 per annum.
All members receive equal status – one member, one vote.
Revised definitions of ‘independent’ and ‘British’ will be incorporated in the SIBA Members’ Handbook.
- What is SIBA’s new ‘independent’ definition?
The brewer is independent…
If brewing under 60k HL a year in accordance with Excise Notice 226, Section 8 – Small Brewery Beer.
If brewing over 60k a year and not connected to any other brewery in accordance with Corporation Tax Act 2010, Section 1122.
For clarity, a brewery that has control/influence (in accordance with Section 8 of Excise Notice 226 or the Corporation Tax Act 2010, Section 1122) over another brewery / breweries may become a SIBA full brewing member, when Total Production of the connected breweries is under the volume defined below – i.e. the ‘topco’ is the SIBA member.
- What is SIBA’s definition of ‘British’?
SIBA is introducing the definition for ‘British’ as follows:
The brewery is British…
If the brewery, and its registered office, are permanently established in the UK.
A minimum of 75% of the brewery’s beer production must be brewed in the UK.
For SIBA’s purposes the definition of UK includes the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
This percentage has been discussed with the SIBA regions and a few members made cases for both higher and lower percentages.
However, in principle, the 75% figure was liked and has been set to give some breweries flexibility should they require to brew certain styles of beer abroad or require assistance outside of the UK with extra capacity.
- Will the SIBA Regions control which breweries can become members of SIBA?
SIBA’s members via the regions, in line with SIBA’s Membership Processing protocols (Members Handbook, Appendix 6, Point 4) and special vetting analysis by the representative Board, will remain in control of which brewing businesses become members of SIBA.
- How important are the smaller brewing members to SIBA?
The Board recognises the majority of members are small businesses and SIBA continues to be committed to supporting smaller brewing members’ e.g. SIBA’s SBR work to protect the 50% discount beer duty rate for those brewing up to 5,000HL.
SIBA will further develop focused membership benefits to the smallest SIBA members.
- How would the SIBA Board summarise the conclusions of the Membership Criteria Review?
The SIBA Board has led the way to ensure SIBA is the ‘voice of British independent brewing’ businesses with a practical and inclusive way forward which ensures members remain in control.