IBA rallies industry as big retailers offer help

The Independent Brewers Association is rallying the industry after a series of wins, including support from the major retailers and the JobKeeper announcement this week.

The organisation told its members that the JobKeeper scheme could deliver up to $50 million to independent brewers. However the team reported that some brewers might not meet the 30 per cent year-on-year reduction in revenue criteria due to the early stage or fast growth of the business.

The IBA said that its Advocacy Project Group is working with Parliament to amend the legislation.

Excise relief also remains on the cards, and the IBA urged brewers to email MPs directly. Excise deferment is already an option, and brewers can contact the Australian Tax Office Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218 to discuss their situation.

Distribution opportunities

In its update, the IBA lauded the ingenuity of breweries, noting that regional brewers have been teaming up to deliver mixed packs like the South Australian brewers’ Heaps Good Indie Beer Pack. Queensland brewers have also teamed up for a similar project, launching their Indie Beer Mixed Carton involving six breweries and available from Newstead Brewing Co.

The IBA said it was discussing the possibility of negotiating a bulk-buy deal on 12-pack shippers designed with the independence seal which would be made available to IBA members or groups of brewers.

It addition, it noted that the Endeavour Drinks Group would be automatically reducing payment terms to 14 days for small suppliers.

Endeavour Drinks, owners of major retailers BWS and Dan Murphy’s, announced this earlier in the week and also told Brews News that they wanted to work with the industry.

“Endeavour Drinks’ buyers and merchandise managers are currently working closely with our existing suppliers as well as relevant industry bodies to see how we can provide support to producers and suppliers in these difficult times,” a representative for EDG said.

“Our success as a business relies on the outstanding products that businesses around the country supply us with, and it’s imperative that we do as much as we can to support these businesses during this time of crisis.

“As a result, we ask any of our suppliers to reach out to their regular Endeavour contact in order to further understand the support that we can provide, and we encourage new suppliers to reach out to the relevant contacts, please see the Endeavour Group Contact Page,” they said.

The IBA said that EDG is also looking at implementing the #keepinglocalalive campaign which is being spearheaded by the organisation and the Crafty Pint, in-store and on their websites.

EDG is planning on fast-tracking products from local producers to local stores.

Meanwhile, Coles is also offering support which will help regional members, said the IBA. Brewers can email localliquor@coles.com.au to get in touch.

Tap contracts

The IBA acknowledged that surviving this difficult period is the main issue on the industry’s agenda right now, but said that the ACCC’s approval of the Asahi acquisition of CUB announced on Wednesday was “disappointing”.

The organisation criticised the move as encouraging anti-competitive behaviours in the industry yesterday.

“This is very disappointing although not very surprising given the ACCC’s weak historical performance on defending independent businesses,” said IBA chair Peter Philip.

“We all have survival on our minds right now, but I believe it’s time we have another go at getting the anti-competitive practice of tap contracts banned.

“This will become a second major thrust of our advocacy plan after excise relief and I will be putting together a plan with the team to mobilise this effort so watch this space,” he said.

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