http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/ Brewers of Europe 2022-05-21T01:02:09+02:00 author info@brewersofeurope.org http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1020 Brewers back Europe’s Beating Cancer plan 2022-02-16T00:00:00+01:00

The Brewers of Europe supports Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the overall stance taken by the European Parliament in its opinion adopted this evening (February 16), advocating a comprehensive approach to cancer that includes prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.

When it comes to alcohol policy, MEPs voted for an approach that focuses the EU’s prevention efforts on tackling harmful consumption and protecting minors. We support this.

We also applaud the Parliament’s astuteness in amending the report before the final vote, through a cross-party initiative to balance the need to support sports clubs, teams and communities with a recommendation to limit alcohol advertising and sponsorship at sports events targeted at minors.

In its final plenary debate, many Members of the European Parliament from across the different political groups focused on the need to understand and follow the science. While the approved opinion focuses on beating cancer, alcohol policies must be holistically conceived and take into account the link between different drinking patterns, all health conditions, the varying outcomes and the overall health impact.

Beer is a fermented, low alcohol beverage that can fit within a balanced diet and sustainable lifestyle when consumed responsibly by a healthy adult. It is crucial to recognise the role lower alcohol beverages can play in the EU’s objective of achieving a 10% reduction by 2025 in the harmful use of alcohol.

The Brewers of Europe stands ready to engage in a constructive dialogue with policymakers on any specific policy proposals, reviewing them in light of scientific evidence and the need for an effective, balanced, consistent and proportionate approach to reducing harmful alcohol consumption.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 12,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1019 A communication on the Beer Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (Beer PEFCRs) 2022-01-03T00:00:00+01:00 On 18 April 2018, the Beer Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (Beer PEFCRs) were officially approved by the Environmental Footprint Steering Committee.
 
The establishment of the Beer PEFCRs represented a major milestone in ensuring a harmonised methodology for the calculation of the environmental footprint of beer. Developed by representatives throughout the beer value chain and closely related beverage sectors, they enable brewers in Europe to define effective targets to meet the challenge of climate change and set a solid baseline for supply chain impact. Product environmental footprinting contributes to building a circular economy and to fostering a better environment for green businesses. They fit Europe’s Green Deal.
 
As the validity of the Beer PEFCRs has elapsed on 31 December 2021, The Brewers of Europe will undertake a light review conforming to the following rules laid down by the European Commission:
  • the scope and the representative product stays the same,
  • only the default EF compliant datasets are updated due to a correction made by the data provider and/or the EF reference package applied changes (update to 3.0 package), 
  • obvious mistakes are corrected
  • the revised PEFCRs are compliant with the most recent version of the EF methods.
We look forward to being joined in this exercise by the members of the Pilot Technical Secretariat. Other parties who would equally be interested to take part should flag their interest to The Brewers of Europe by end January 2022.
 
The Brewers of Europe aim to have a positive impact on society, people and the planet. For many years we have encouraged sustainable practices in our brewing processes, in our supply chains, and in how beer is consumed and enjoyed. We are central to a circular European economy and our progress goes hand-in-hand with the aims of the new European Green Deal. EF and Beer PEFCRs enable brewers and the wider eco-chain to contribute to the overall policy objective of Europe’s climate neutrality by 2050.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 12,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1018 Europe needs to keep up its support for the beer sector 2021-12-20T00:00:00+01:00 Brussels, 20 December 2021

As Europe continues to battle the pandemic, it must maintain its support measures for the beer sector, The Brewers of Europe said on December 20th.

The call comes as The Brewers of Europe, the voice of more than 12,000 breweries, released its 2021 European Beer Trends Statistics Report, which revealed how overall beer sales had collapsed in the first year of the pandemic. The statistics show that combined beer sales in 31 European markets fell in 2020 from 385.5 to 354.5 million hectolitres. This was a staggering drop of over 3 billion litres, representing more than an 8% collapse in beer sales.

While the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns have lifted, there are still many restrictions in place across Europe, and consumer confidence remains low amongst some groups. These continue to affect the brewing sector. However, with the right targeted framework support, particularly focused on the hard-hit beer hospitality market, brewers can bounce back and lead Europe’s recovery through job creation, increased value and government tax generation.

As we look to the future, we need to ensure that brewers have solid ground to recover,” said The Brewers of Europe Secretary General Pierre-Olivier Bergeron. “The beer industry is part of a complex chain involving many businesses. Concrete, long-term support will help them recover or maintain their operations. Governments need to step in with measures to cope with the negative economic impact of the pandemic. With targeted support, beer hospitality can lift the economy, bring in much-needed government revenues and boost jobs all along the brewing, production and hospitality value chain. Bars and pubs can once again become pillars of the local community - and with it, the economy".

The 2021 report covers the 27 European Union member states, plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It shows how the steady, decade-long renaissance in both production and consumption of beer ground to a stuttering halt as the pandemic hit. The hospitality sector took the brunt of the damage. By mid-March 2020, almost all of Europe’s bars, cafés and restaurants were closed, and would not reopen until around May. The second wave in the autumn forced them to close again in October 2020, often only reopening from April 2021. The result was an average 40% drop in beer hospitality sales in 2020, a loss that was only marginally recouped by retail sales.

These closures impacted the whole social economy: people’s livelihoods, government tax revenues and citizens’ wellbeing were hit as communities shut down, Europeans self-isolated, culture was curtailed and social lives ground to a standstill.

The diverse expansion of the beer culture also stalled. The previous decade had seen a flowering of start-ups and innovation in the sector. Indeed, for five consecutive years, over 1,000 new breweries opened annually across Europe, almost doubling the total between 2014 and 2019. However, in 2020 this entrepreneurial boom came to a staggering halt. At the end of 2020, there were some 12,473 active breweries across Europe – but just 225 new breweries had opened during the previous 12 months.

What is clear, however, is that brewers are resilient. Times are tough but so are brewers. Their entrepreneurial spirit remains. As for consumers, they still love good beer and have a thirst for new tastes. Brewers will meet this demand, innovating to ensure the brewing sector returns stronger than ever.

The European Beer Trends - 2021 Edition report is available for download here.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 12,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1016 Europe’s brewers celebrate beer in Cyprus 2021-11-22T00:00:00+01:00 Nicosia, 22 November – At the invitation of its former president, Pavlos Photiades, The Brewers of Europe Board met last week in Cyprus at Photos Photiades Breweries Ltd to discuss key priorities for Europe’s brewing sector. The Board confirmed that teaming up to shape a beer-friendly, smart, prosperous, sustainable and responsible EU business environment was more than ever relevant in order to address the many challenges but also seize the opportunities we face. 
 
Following the meeting, Lasse Aho, current President of The Brewers of Europe, said: “Representing the interests of ten thousand plus breweries, we agreed this week that Europe’s diverse brewing sector continues to have a lot to offer to Europe’s people, society and economy at a time when a sustainable, green recovery is on everybody’s minds. During the current pandemic we may have struggled but have never lost our passion for ensuring consumers can enjoy responsibly our choice of high quality beers. Now is the time to ensure that brewers, with support from policymakers, play their part in re-igniting Europe’s economy and be fairly treated to this end.” The Board confirmed that Europe’s brewers would continue to lead by example in fundamental areas such as consumer information and environmental sustainability. 
 
Pavlos Photiades stated: “It was such a delight for me to see and host fellow brewers this week. Europe is the cradle of modern beer and The Brewers of Europe is the home organisation for all brewers. It is the authoritative, united voice of Europe’s brewing sector, a fascinating community that cares for quality and is rightly passionate about beer, a unique product rooted in nature.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1015 Brewers back better labelling on International Day for the Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) 2021-09-28T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, September 28, 2021 - The International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), held today, is a United Nations-led occasion aimed at highlighting and improving access to information as a public good and as a fundamental right. Access to information helps build effective, accountable and inclusive governments. And it helps build trust amongst communities.

The Brewers of Europe, which represents the beermaking community, supports this initiative. We agree that informed citizens make informed decisions. This ranges from decisions about who to vote for in elections to basic shopping and consumer choices. Information is power. Universal access to information is a cornerstone of healthy and inclusive societies.

The right to information is a principle that has driven our campaign to provide consumers with the facts about ingredients and calorie values for our beers. Consumers like clear and consistent communication. We believe ingredients lists and calorie values on the labels of bottles and cans are the most basic of information that all consumers should expect to see for all drinks.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, said the IDUAI should be a moment for everyone to reflect on how much information they can share. “On the International Day for Universal Access to Information, we want to show our support for access to information for everyone. At The Brewers of Europe, we are already into the sixth year of our labelling commitment. We want our customers to know what is in their drinks, and we are proud to show them. That is our pledge to be open and clear about the facts,” he said.

The Brewers of Europe labelling commitment is not an EU regulatory requirement. Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers exempts alcoholic beverages over 1.2 percent ABV from the legal obligation to label this information — although it does set clear rules for any company wishing to voluntarily do so. Ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight, as recorded at the time of their use. Energy values must be provided (just as they are for non-alcoholic beverages) in kJ and kcal per 100ml to allow a like-for-like comparison among all beverages.

Our voluntary commitment was bolstered in 2018 with a specific recommendation to all breweries, to list ingredients and energy per 100ml on the labels of their beer bottles and cans. Two years ago, in September 2019, The Brewers of Europe, national brewers’ associations and leading companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to roll out that specific recommendation across the EU by the end of 2022.

Europe’s brewers are now well on their way to meeting their ambitious 2022 labelling targets as part of their ‘Proud to be Clear’ campaign to ensure all beer containers label ingredients and energy values. We have already exceeded our interim targets: current Europe-wide implementation figures show 93 percent of beers are labelling ingredients and 86 percent are labelling calories.

On top of this, many brewers are also providing the ingredients and nutrition information online for each of their brands, recognising the increasing importance of digital.

We are also extremely pleased that our ongoing collaboration with the European Commission has helped support consumer choice and empower responsible decisions. In June 2021, the EU’s current Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides welcomed our commitments and commended Europe’s brewers for exceeding the targets despite the ongoing crisis that has hit the beer hospitality sector hard.

We believe all alcoholic beverages — irrespective of their alcohol content or definition — should do the same, and we encourage other sectors to bring their own actions into line with both our own commitment and EU law.

Note to editors:

The International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in November 2015 and was first held on September 28, 2016. Before that, it was recognised as International Right to Know Day from 2002. It was later proclaimed at the 74th UN General Assembly in October 2019.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1014 Brewers sign new EU Code of Conduct on sustainability in the food and drink industry 2021-07-05T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, July 5, 2021 – The Brewers of Europe has added its name to a new EU-wide pledge to support the shift towards sustainable food systems. The Brewers of Europe was one of the founding signatories at a European Commission ceremony today to launch the new EU Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices.

Signing up in the presence of EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and the European Commissioners for Health and the Internal Market, The Brewers of Europe pledged to pursue and build upon our six-year commitment to label ingredients and energy on beers across Europe.

The Brewers of Europe Ambition is that by end 2022 all beer bottles and cans list ingredients and energy per 100ml on the labels, just as all other non-alcoholic beverages legally have to do and in full conformity with Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.

While EU law currently exempts alcoholic beverages over 1.2% abv from a legal obligation to list the ingredients and calorie content, The Brewers of Europe is delighted to add its weight to the European Commission campaign for all consumers to have access to this information.

Indeed, at 93% and 86% implementation rates for ingredients and energy labelling respectively, Europe’s beer brewers are already well on their way to hitting their ambitious targets as part of the ‘Proud to be Clear’ campaign.

The Brewers of Europe Secretary General Pierre-Olivier Bergeron said that by signing the EU Code of Conduct, beermakers are showing they are ready to pursue their leadership. “Brewers want people to know exactly what goes into the delicious beers that they brew. When we provide people with clear information about our beers, we empower them to make the right choices. This is about responsible business and consumer choice”, he said.

The EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices is a key pillar of the EU’s landmark Farm to Fork Strategy. It sets out how food and drink producers, processors, operators and retailers can voluntarily commit to improve and communicate their support for healthy, balanced and sustainable diets, including by providing transparent, voluntary product information to consumers.

In signing the Code, The Brewers of Europe support these aspirational objectives. We also pledge to publish the implementation results annually, promote the Code within our constituencies, and encourage and support brewers to continue and support delivery of the commitment.

The Brewers of Europe campaign was backed by EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides when she met The Brewers of Europe on 11 June 2021 and was also supported in 2019 by her predecessor as EU Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1012 EU Commissioner Kyriakides welcomes European brewers’ progress on labelling 2021-06-11T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, June 11, 2021 - The Brewers of Europe today met with EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, who welcomed the progress made by brewers in voluntarily labelling the ingredients and calorie content of their beers.

Commissioner Kyriakides described the meeting as a constructive exchange, saying, “Industry has a key role to play in protecting the health of our citizens and empowering them to choose healthy lifestyles.

The Brewers of Europe explained how Europe’s beer brewers are well on their way to meeting their 2022 labelling targets aimed at providing clear ingredients and nutritional information for beers across the EU. The Brewers of Europe agreed on the ambitious target as part of its ‘Proud to be Clear’ Brewers’ Ambition to ensure all beer pre-pack containers label ingredients and energy values.

Figures from June 2021 show that despite the unprecedented crisis posed by the Covid restrictions on beer hospitality over the last 15 months, an estimated 93% of beer volumes sold in cans and bottles were now labelling ingredients and an estimated 86% were labelling energy.

The Brewers of Europe President Lasse Aho said the progress showed that brewers could be judged not just on their words but also on their actions. “We are delighted to share with Commissioner Kyriakides the excellent news about labelling,” he said. “This is just one of our commitments to brew responsibly and shows how we are ensuring that our consumers are crystal clear about the ingredients that go into our fine beers. We are also extremely pleased that our ongoing collaboration with the European Commission has helped support consumer choice and empower responsible decisions.

The delegation included Pavlos Photiades, the former President of The Brewers of Europe, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2019 with EU’s Health Commissioner formally committing the brewers to delivering on the targets and reporting regularly on progress.

The Brewers of Europe Secretary General Pierre-Olivier Bergeron said the progress on labelling showed how beermakers were taking their public responsibilities seriously. “Brewers believe in empowering people with facts to make informed decisions. Consumers like clear, consistent, honest communication: more information gives them more choice,” he said.

There currently remains an EU level exemption for alcoholic beverages above 1.2% alcohol by volume (abv) from any legal obligation to provide ingredients and nutritional information. However, brewers have been voluntarily stepping up the roll-out of ingredients listing and energy information since 2015, in conformity with the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. In July 2018, that commitment was bolstered by a specific, focused recommendation to all breweries to list ingredients and calories per 100ml on the labels of pre-packaged beer containers such as bottles and cans, just as all other non-alcoholic beverages legally have to do.

The Brewers of Europe has developed toolkits to explain the EU’s legal framework for this voluntary commitment to the more than 11,000 breweries from across the continent, helping them understand the objective and explaining how nutritional values can be calculated and presented. We continue to lead the way by providing guidance tools and using detailed monitoring to report on progress.

The Brewers of Europe meeting with Commissioner Kyriakides comes just as bars, cafés and restaurants across Europe have been reopening after more than a year of forced closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic restrictions hit beer hospitality hard: bars and restaurants lost 42% of beer sales in 2020, the equivalent of over 5 billion litres, along with 800,000 beer hospitality jobs.

Brewers nonetheless responded positively throughout the pandemic, supporting the public health response and frontline staff, showing solidarity with the hospitality sector and investing in Covid secure environments. Brewers have also doubled down on their sustainability efforts in support of a Green Recovery, and continued their innovation and investment in non-and low-alcohol beers.

To read more about the implementation, head to www.beerwisdom.eu

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1011 Brewers Forum 2021 backs sustainability and innovation in post-Covid Europe 2021-06-04T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, June 4, 2021 - With Europe finally opening up bars and cafés, the brewing community this week showed it is ready to push ahead with sustainability initiatives and modernised production to make beer better than ever.

Nearly 2,500 brewers, suppliers, policymakers, NGOs and others signed up for the 2021 edition of The Brewers Forum, which took place online from June 1 to 4. The Brewers Forum, now in its third edition, was organised by The Brewers of Europe, the trade association promoting the interests of more than 11,000 breweries from across the continent.

The Forum addressed new ideas to make brewing more sustainable, more innovative, more responsible and more diverse.

But many beermakers warned they still need to recover after more than a year of pandemic-related lockdowns and other restrictions on the hospitality sector. The Brewers of Europe President Lasse Aho told the Forum that the pandemic had taken its toll on brewers. “We have all been hit by a battery of restrictive measures across Europe and the world. It has really been a hugely disruptive period for beer producers and the whole beer value chain,” he said. “Now that bars and cafés are re-opening across Europe, it is time to look into the next steps and positively rebuild consumer confidence.”

Mr Aho confirmed European brewers’ commitment to environmental sustainability and supporting the delivery of the EU Green Deal. He also stressed the important role that brewers and beer hospitality can play in the sustainable, post-Covid recovery “If governments treat us well, they will be rewarded: with beer excise duty revenues; with VAT from beer consumption in bars, cafes and restaurants; with jobs in the breweries and in pubs. Despite all the trouble, we can help reignite the economy!

The Brewers Forum featured some of the biggest names in beer. Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink explained how the Netherlands-based company aimed to decarbonise its production by 2030 and its full value chain by 2040. “I would love all of us to join the trip to carbon net-zero!” he said. Mr van den Brink also called on the sector to do more to prevent the harmful use of alcohol. “Zero tolerance is part of our licence to operate. I call on all of us to contribute to this. We must show responsibility in our messaging and marketing,” he said.

Asahi Group President and CEO Atsushi Katsuki underlined how important it is for brewers to cut their carbon footprint. “Pursuing sustainability is essentially synonymous with pursuing business itself. By doing so, we earn the trust of our stakeholders. Only through that trust can we serve our social role,” he said. He added that beer’s unique cultural significance meant that it was more than just a drink. “Going out for a beer is not only a simple act of having a beverage. It is an occasion to meet families, friends and other people, building new relationships and creating new acquaintances.”

The Brewers of Europe Secretary General Pierre-Olivier Bergeron shared the results of the group’s impact report on the effects of the pandemic that showed how beer hospitality declined by 42% and the overall beer market by 9% in 2020 compared to 2019. “This wiped out four in 10 of the jobs generated by beer in the hospitality sector,” he said, adding that governments also lost nearly a quarter of the tax revenues they usually receive from beer.

But Mr Bergeron was hopeful that the sector could bounce back. “Some 860,000 jobs are ready to be created in the economy if the beer sector can return to pre-Covid levels,” he said, urging policymakers to support the beer hospitality sector, rather than imposing new taxes. “With the targeted support to beer, brewers and hospitality, we can continue to play a positive role in the economy, culture, society and the European way of life.”

The Forum’s 19 individual sessions examined a broad variety of topics ranging from recycling and recovery to innovative brewing techniques, marketing and packaging. Sustainability was a key theme and the specific focus of the final day: as an official partner of the EU Green Week taking place at the same time, the Forum recognised that the climate crisis is the challenge of the generation, and many speakers underlined their efforts to reduce emissions and improve circularity.

Other sessions looked at how to bring new flavour and body to beer through barrel-ageing, how to modernise historical and preserved beer styles, how to market beers in a fast-changing and increasingly competitive environment, and how small brewers can make the perfect lager.

The Forum closed with the official announcement of a new project – Raising the Bar! - between The Brewers of Europe and BBC StoryWorks that will showcase some of the most exciting stories from across the beer sector in Europe.

The Brewers Forum was held online from June 1 to 4, 2021. Video replays of all the sessions will be available soon on brewup.eu.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1010 Brewers Forum 2021 looks ahead to the future of beer 2021-05-31T00:00:00+02:00 What is the future of beer in the post-Covid era? How can brewers make beer environmentally friendly and ensure that brewing contributes even more to the green recovery? What are the latest innovations bringing new styles, expanding traditional methods and improving sustainability?

These are some of the issues facing more than 1,700 brewers, suppliers, policymakers, NGOs and others at the 2021 edition of The Brewers Forum, which will take place from June 1 to 4.

The Brewers Forum, now in its third edition, is being held online at a time when Europe is finally starting to open up its bars, cafés and restaurants, more than a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close. It is organised by The Brewers of Europe, the trade association promoting the interests of more than 11,000 breweries from across the continent.

In recent years, the brewing sector has been exploring a variety of new ideas to become more sustainable and more responsible. The Brewers Forum will show that despite everything that has happened, Europe’s brewers have the energy and imagination needed to make their pils, lagers, bitters, stouts, IPAs and other brews more enticing and greener than ever.

The Brewers of Europe’s President Lasse Aho will tell participants that the Forum must be a moment for the entire beer supply chain to rebuild and reconnect after an unprecedented period of disruption. “This crisis is not over. However, we can now see some light at the end of the tunnel,” he will say. “We, the members of the brewing community, will be able to turn the challenges into opportunities. We are all smart and innovative enough to demonstrate that we can go through difficult times and shape the brightest future possible.

The Brewers Forum will feature some of the biggest names in beer, including Asahi Group President and CEO Atsushi Katsuki and Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink. The Forum’s 19 individual sessions will address and debate a broad variety of topics ranging from recycling and recovery to innovative brewing techniques, marketing and packaging.

Sustainability will be a key theme as the beer supply chain continues to find ways to cut its carbon footprint, improve water usage and fully integrate circularity. The Forum is an official partner event of the EU Green Week taking place at the same time, and it will showcase the efforts over the years by the beer sector and supply chain at large to make brewing greener.

Other sessions will look at how to bring new flavour and body to beer through barrel-ageing, the modernisation of historical and preserved beer styles, marketing beers in a fast-changing and increasingly competitive environment, and how smaller brewers can brew the perfect lager.

The Brewers Forum is free to access and will be held June 1 to 4, 2021. Click here for full details, including the programme and registration details.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1009 Beer hospitality to drive Europe’s recovery 2021-04-26T00:00:00+02:00 Getting back to bars, pubs, cafés and festivals with friends, family and the local community will be a symbol of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and will also help to reignite the whole European economy and rebuild society, according to The Brewers of Europe, the trade body representing the interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries.

Following today’s publication of a new report on Covid’s impact on the beer trade, The Brewers of Europe says a full recovery can ensure the return of over 800,000 jobs lost in beer hospitality in 2020 when sales in bars, pubs and restaurants collapsed by over 40% due to restrictions and closures.

With continued targeted support, governments can also expect to receive around €11 billion in extra tax revenues if beer hospitality can just return to pre-pandemic levels of activity. The beer value chain bouncing back to pre-Covid levels would also bring €13 billion in value added back into the European economy.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said, “As we look ahead to the recovery, we need to get the reopening right. We need clarity and certainty. A thriving hospitality sector is a key to the wider recovery, including as an important symbol of consumer confidence. With targeted support, beer hospitality can lift the economy, bring in much needed government revenues and boost jobs all along the brewing, production and hospitality value chain. Bars and pubs can once again become pillars of the local community - and with it, the economy.”

On the other hand, with much of Europe still in lockdown or under tight restrictions again, particularly in the hospitality sector, this kickstart is still tantalisingly just out of reach. The long wait is having a devastating effect on social lives, livelihoods, culture, the economy and government finances.

With a safe, secure and sustainable future absolutely vital, hospitality venues, event organisers, breweries and the whole supply chain need help to bridge the gap, not just towards first and partial re-openings, but towards full recovery. The Brewers of Europe and our partners have consistently called for support from governments, such as prolonged temporary unemployment benefits, flexible liquidity grants, reduced VAT rates in hospitality and targeted excise relief for hard-hit sectors. These same governments stand to benefit significantly from a revitalised social economy if they get behind beer hospitality.

Europe Economics’ Beer Covid Impact Report shows how much the beer hospitality trade has suffered and the impact on the jobs, value and tax revenues generated by beer. In 2020, beer sold on-trade dropped 42% compared to 2019, from 126 million hectolitres to 73 million hectolitres.

With a small increase in retail beer sales only picking up part of the slack, there was a net fall of 34 million hectolitres, or 9%, in the total volume of beer sold in Europe in 2020, wiping over €3 billion off the value of beer production in a single year. Jobs generated in the beer value chain fell by an estimated one third in 2020, from 2.6 million people to 1.8 million, with the vast majority of these losses being in beer hospitality, but jobs also being lost in supply and distribution.

Mr Bergeron added, “We are becoming more sustainable in our practices and more aligned with our local environment. We are getting more creative in our brewing methods and our range of beers. And we are leading the way in responsible drinking, including through the low alcohol choices on offer. As Europe plans its recovery, we are ready to play our role in driving the economy, continuing our push for greener practices, and rebuilding the local communities.”

Many hospitality establishments will unfortunately never reopen, even after the lockdown ends. However, many in the sector have weathered the crisis, made the necessary investments to ensure Covid-safe environments, and will be ready to again serve beer to our consumers when they return to the bar.

NEW report:

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 11,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1006 Europe’s food and drink trade unions and associations call on EU leaders to set up hospitality task force 2021-02-22T00:00:00+01:00 Thirteen hospitality, drinks, food, and trade union representatives have jointly written to the presidents of the EU institutions calling for the immediate setting up of a hospitality recovery task force.

The impact of COVID-19 has hit livelihoods and businesses hard, throwing Europe’s restaurants, bars, hotels, cafés, pubs and nightclubs into a deep crisis, the letter says. There is a need for the EU’s policy makers, MEPs and member states to deliver a road map for recovery and, critically, predictability for reopening.

The letter recognises hope and optimism buoyed by the arrival and distribution of successful vaccines. The Brewers of Europe and its cosignatories ‘should be considered as partners for ensuring, when the epidemiological situation allows it, a well-regulated, safe and sustainable reopening’.

There are three specific asks, in addition to the overarching task force:

  • Recognition of the massive and long-term impact that the COVID crisis and ongoing shutdowns have had on businesses.
  • Clarity is needed as soon as possible on when and under which conditions the hospitality sector will be able to reopen.
  • Dedicated financial and policy support to the hospitality value chain, addressing current, short-term and long-term needs.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said “The pandemic has devastated communities and taken many lives. As a brewing sector working at the heart of society, we are keen to work with the EU’s institutions at the earliest opportunity to help contribute to a successful recovery from this crisis. We need not only a dedicated task force, but support, clarity and recognition for the impact it has had on our businesses”.

This comes as last month the secretary generals of the major associations and unions issued a statement on a hospitality industry common position for the task force and COVID19.

The full letter was sent to:

  • Dr Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
  • Mrs Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank
  • Mr Paschal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup
  • Mr Charles Michel, President of the European Council
  • Mr David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament
  • Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions

Read the full letter here whilst more information about the beer sector’s response to the crisis can be found at https://reconnect.beer.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1005 Millions of beer lovers on Untappd app can now check in and support hospitality sector 2021-02-04T00:00:00+01:00 The Brewers of Europe has begun a partnership with popular beer rating app Untappd to boost support for the hospitality sector during the pandemic.

Users of the app – downloaded by 8.5m people globally – have been ‘checking in’ at home instead of at their favourite bars and restaurants whilst venues remain shut due to the pandemic. From today they will be able to show solidarity with local pubs through unique promotional messages via the app.

This involves pop-up banners and social media click through actions with a message to #SAVEOURPUB and #RECONNECT.

The aim is to raise awareness of the struggle faced by the brewing community and the whole value chain that relies on it, and for governments to recognise the economic contribution of the sector.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said “Beer consumers are fiercely proud and extremely knowledgeable about their beer. We all want our favourite bar and pubs to still be able to reopen when the pandemic is over. This collaboration with Untappd will tap into that passion for beer and gives a unique channel to share hope that the sector can be a driver for the recovery”.

“Checking in a beer at home on the Untappd app helps keep the community connected with the local pubs and breweries they love,” said Trace Smith, CEO of Untappd. “We are proud to partner with the Brewers of Europe to promote this sense of community and support the industry. We look forward to safely reconnecting over a beer after the pandemic.”

The campaign will be available in all countries represented by The Brewers Of Europe: throughout the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Before COVID19 hit, the beer sector was booming. There are more than 10,000 breweries operating in Europe. It’s hoped that with support from governments and consumers, beer can bounce back and help people reconnect with each other after restrictions have been lifted.

Download the Untappd app and use it to check in while drinking a beer at home. More information about what consumers can do and what support measures are recommended by The Brewers of Europe can be found at reconnect.beer.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

About Untappd

Founded in 2010, Untappd is the world's largest social beer app, with over 8 million users globally. Individuals can "check-in" and rate beers at bars, restaurants, breweries and a host of other venues as well as view friends' profiles to toast and comment on their beer choices. Additionally, the company provides menu publishing software to over 18,000 businesses worldwide. www.untappd.com

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1004 Union and sector chiefs: set up hospitality task force across EU institutions 2021-01-27T00:00:00+01:00 The heads of 13 European hospitality and value chain representing bodies and trade unions have jointly called for the immediate setting up of a hospitality task force across the EU Institutions to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on business and jobs, and to deliver a road map for recovery.

The Brewers of Europe and the cosignatories want “predictability for the hospitality sector and its supply chain, through a safe, timely and sustainable reopening as soon as the economy starts to open up again”.  

Hospitality businesses and the entire system that supports them, are an essential part of Europe’s social and economic fabric, providing millions of jobs to workers across the continent.

“Investing in the hospitality industry now will pay off for our collective recovery in the future, helping to kickstart the wider economy and society”, the statement says.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said “The pandemic has taken lives and livelihoods. At the right time and when it is safe to do so, we must do all we can to reconnect the hospitality value chain and avoid further knock-on effects. With bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants so integral to our society and economy, we call on the EU institutions to ensure that the hospitality sector has strong and dedicated support to help its recovery”.

This comes as Ivan Štefanec, MEP, member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and President of the European Parliament Beer Club recommended in December 2020 that the taskforce be backed by MEPs.

The full statement can be read here and more information about the beer sector’s response to the crisis can be found at reconnect.beer.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org@brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1003 MEPs to create COVID recovery taskforce for hospitality sector 2020-12-21T00:00:00+01:00 MEPs and the beer sector are working to create a special taskforce to help bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.

According to Ivan Štefanec, MEP and President of the European Parliament Beer Club, the taskforce aims to monitor the ongoing crisis due to coronavirus and ensure that EU recovery instruments can be used as effectively as possible.

Speaking at Bridging the Gap: The Recovery of the Hospitality Sector, an online event hosted by EU40 on Thursday 17 December 2020, Mr. Štefanec stressed that businesses in the beer value chain such as bars, cafés, and restaurants should be able to take advantage of the 1.8tn euro budget and recovery fund, especially if they seek to make digital or green improvements.

“If small companies seek to improve in this way – be it digital or green technology – they can receive funding” he said, underlining the fact that 50% of SMEs are in need of immediate help following the near total shutdown of the social economy in 2020.

André Costa Monteiro, Alternate Financial Counsellor at the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the EU, pointed to how the speed of the response from the EU was almost unprecedented, acting quickly and at scale to the crisis.

However, the hospitality sector had been, and is still being, affected more than others. Whilst a priority for Portugal’s presidency of the EU will be to work with the Commission and Member States to respond economically, Mr Monteiro said: “It's time to deliver. How do we get the funding instruments flowing to the hospitality sector?”

The beer and hospitality sectors are interdependent, with 1.6 million jobs created by the added value of beer in bars, cafés, and restaurants in Europe.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, secretary-general of The Brewers of Europe said, “The brewing and hospitality sectors need an economically sustainable roadmap, including a guarantee of long-term financial support, to reopen and reconnect safely, not just to partially compensate closure."

This view was shared by both Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland and Tess Posthumus, owner of the Flying Dutchman Cocktail Bar in Amsterdam, with drink producers and bars both facing mounting costs that the short-term response measures will not fully cover – such as rent, point-of-sale systems and return of unsold stock.

Early 2021 will be crucial for the EU economically and if hospitality is to be a driver of economy once again, it will need the ability to respond, recover and reconnect. The new taskforce will cooperate to remind each of the European institutions how important the beer and hospitality sector is in 2021 and beyond.

- END -

EU40 is a platform for young Pro-European Members of the European under the age of 40. The session Bridging the Gap: The Recovery of the Hospitality Sector can be replayed on YouTube.

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.org, @brewersofeurope

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1002 Brewers Affirm Commitment to Sustainability with EU Green Week Event 2020-10-22T00:00:00+02:00 Over the last two days, over 700 unique participants have been taking part in The Brewers of Europe Sustainability Forum, an official partner event of the European Union’s Green Week. With brewers and value chain partners from across the continent joining policymakers for over seven hours of debate and discussion, the sheer numbers speak not just to the European beer sector’s interest in environmental sustainability, but also to their commitment.

For The Brewers of Europe, supporting the interests of over ten thousand breweries, this was the first bespoke event focused entirely on sustainability in the beer sector. Opening the Forum, Lasse Aho, President of The Brewers of Europe stated: “As producers of beer, we are central to a circular European economy and our progress goes hand-in-hand with the aims of the new European Green Deal.”

Against the backdrop of a Covid crisis that is putting livelihoods at risk and jeopardising the beer sector’s very connection to its consumers, through the closure of bars, pubs and restaurants, this was an opportunity to show that sustainability remains a priority and how brewers collectively can contribute to the Green Recovery. The Brewers of Europe Sustainability Forum demonstrated how micro, small, and large brewers have long encouraged sustainable practices in their brewing processes, in supply chains, and how beer can be responsibly enjoyed.

Speaking at the final session of the event, Rozalina Petrova, Member of Cabinet of EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius, said: “Businesses are under a lot of pressure due to the economic crisis, but even in hard times, brewers are thinking about a sustainable future, improving environmental performance and bringing together all the elements: from production and agriculture to water use, residues and packaging.”

The Sustainability Forum’s four technical sessions discussed solutions ranging from harnessing geothermal energy, to returning nutrients to nature for increased biodiversity. The platform was given to brewers and value chain partners to present their projects for the benefit of the whole brewing community.

Paolo Lanzarotti, Board Member of The Brewers of Europe and CEO of Asahi Europe & International, said: "The event has been a unique opportunity to share. We need to work together, brewers large and small, and we need to act at scale. Europe can lead and must lead."

Innovation and collaboration were two major themes coming out of the Sustainability Forum.

The event was useful for all stakeholders. There is a general trend in the brewing sector for innovation and an awareness of the Green Deal, with a lot of activity on this, especially the contribution from small brewers” said Ivan Štefanec MEP and President of the European Parliament Beer Club. “People are working toward the common objective of sustainability of the sector from a long-term perspective,” he added.

In his closing words Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe affirmed the ambitions of the brewing sector by saying: “To the Commission and Members of the European Parliament represented here today, I want to say that we are your partners, committed to continuing our sustainability story – to leading by example in our sector and beyond.”

Further information about The Brewers of Europe sustainability story, and to re-watch the event online in the coming days, visit the dedicated platform at www.brewing4.eu.

Postponed from June to October by COVID-19 and challenged by on-going global uncertainty, a rearranged EU Green Week went virtual this year and had the main overarching theme of biodiversity. The EU Green Deal remains one of the six cross-sectoral priorities for the European Commission, relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals that are important strategic ambitions across the world.

-END-

Contact

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.eu@brewersofeurope

About us

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=1001 The Brewers of Europe: Virtual Sustainability Forum on 20 and 21 October 2020 2020-09-30T00:00:00+02:00 The Brewers of Europe has announced the dates of its first Sustainability Forum, a partner event of EU Green Week.There will be six virtual sessions over two days on 20-21 October 2020, focusing on sustainability of beer production and how brewing can help biopersity and the environment. 

From unpicking relevant policy to the latest technical solutions, the event aims to be unmissable for those who want to know more about ‘brewing green’ and those who wish to debate how European companies should support the EU Green Deal.

Event highlights:

  • Insight from policymakers and specialists on how the EU Green Deal impacts brewing and how beer producers can contribute to the Green Recovery.
  • Leading small, medium and large breweries explain their approach to sustainability ambitions and initiatives.
  • Hear from brewers with practical examples and best practice case studies about the latest techniques for:
    • increasing biopersity with co-products,
    • improving energy efficiency of their brewery
    • reducing waste in packaging and water conservation.

EU Green Week

The EU Green Deal remains one of the six cross-sectoral priorities for the European Commission, relating to the UN Sustainable Development Goals that are important strategic ambitions across the world.

The Brewers of Europe and its members are vital components of this strategy and will demonstrate how they can contribute to the overarching European and global commitments and ambitions.

As an official partner of the European Commission’s EU Green Week this October, sessions at The Sustainability Forum will help participants understand how sustainability policies will affect brewers and what it means for the sector.

How to brew sustainably: technical sessions for brewers

Brewers have long encouraged sustainable practices in brewing processes, through supply chains, and in how beer is consumed and enjoyed.

From small to large brewers, each can make changes that benefit our planet – the technical sessions will showcase just some of the best examples of how this is already being done.

From harnessing geothermal energy, to returning nutrients to nature, people aim to have a positive impact on our world and beer production can be part of a sustainable future. This event will show you how.

Register your interest

The Brewers of Europe invites you to register for the event and to contribute your own views and expertise. Read more on brewing4.eu.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=999 The Brewers of Europe elects new President 2020-09-07T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 7 September 2020: The Brewers of Europe has elected Mr Lasse Aho, CEO of Olvi plc, as the new President of The Brewers of Europe, succeeding Mr Pavlos Photiades.

Addressing The Brewers of Europe General Assembly, Mr Aho said: “This is both an extremely proud and a very humbling moment for me, knowing that my brewing colleagues from across Europe are putting their trust in me to lead their European umbrella association. After five consecutive years of growth in the European beer market, these are no doubt very challenging times as Europe’s brewers seek to reconnect with their distribution chain and ultimately their consumers in the midst of a global pandemic. My ambition is to help guide Europe’s diverse family of brewers out of this crisis, embracing the Green Recovery that is essential to ensure a robust and sustainable future for beer in Europe. I wish to thank Pavlos for the magnificent job he has done in helping to ensure The Brewers of Europe is well prepared to play this role, at the service of brewers and the wider society.

There are currently an estimated ten thousand breweries in Europe, a fascinating mix of world-leading multinationals, medium-sized national and regional companies, centuries-long established family brewers and up-and-coming new microbreweries. With one job in a brewery creating an additional sixteen jobs in the wider economy, beer creates around 2.3 million jobs, from the grain right through to the glass. Prior to the ongoing global pandemic and the weeks-long shutdown of hundreds of thousands of bars, restaurants and cafés, one in every three beers was consumed in Europe’s hospitality sector. With a safe and sustainable reopening imperative and most establishments either operating at limited capacity or even still closed, The Brewers of Europe is continuing its campaign for targeted support to be given to these social hubs that are key to Europe’s need to reconnect.

Reflecting on his tenure at the head of the association, Mr Photiades said: “Without the commitment of the National Associations, the beer companies and the Brussels secretariat, I would not have been able to equip you with such a positive report on the last four years for Europe’s brewers. And I am really grateful for this unique cooperation. The near doubling of the number of breweries presented not just a challenge but an opportunity to ensure The Brewers of Europe could feel like home for all of Europe’s breweries. This required not just reflection, but adaptation, with the first ever European Brewers’ Forum a direct product of that strategic review. Looking back, I can also only share The Brewers of Europe’s pride for its unprecedented ambition to label ingredients and nutrition information on all beers and I would like to express my gratitude to the European Commission for its encouragements and support on this crucial dossier. It has been an immense pleasure and honour to have served as President of The Brewers of Europe. Whilst I know very well the difficult, even existential, challenges facing many brewers at this time, I have every confidence that Lasse is the right person to take the association forward, to ensure a bright and sustainable future for Europe’s brewing sector.

-END-

Notes to editors:

About Mr Lasse Aho

Mr Aho, a Finnish citizen, has been since 2004 the CEO of Olvi Oyj plc, a very successful middle size, regional brewery the performance of which has led the company to rank third best enterprise in Finland for the period 1999-2019. Mr Aho holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Tampere. In 2008 he was granted the Influencer of the Year Award in the Food Industry. In 2013 he became Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. A Board member of The Brewers of Europe since December 2014, Mr Aho has also since December 2016 served as Vice President representing small and medium-sized breweries. The Brewers of Europe General Assembly elected Mr Aho on 4 September 2020 to the role of President, with a two year mandate, renewable once.

About the Brewers of Europe

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on social media and visit our website: https://brewersofeurope.eu.

About the #RECONNECT campaign

The Brewers of Europe launched a campaign in June under the concept of #reconnect, to call for ongoing support of the hospitality sector in the wake of the COVID19 crisis and lockdown. The hospitality sector is being invited to reopen, but this must be done in a safe and sustainable way. Hundreds of thousands of bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants across Europe need targeted, ongoing and continued support as social distancing guidelines prevent full reopening and consumer confidence gradually recovers. Find out more and become a supporter of the campaign at https://reconnect.beer.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=996 Brewers welcome European Commission opening examination procedure on the restriction of Mexican Tequila exports 2020-08-13T00:00:00+02:00 The Brewers of Europe welcomes the decision by the European Commission to open an examination procedure following our complaint over the Tequila Regulatory Council’s (CRT) withholding of export permits for Tequila destined for use in flavoured beer.

European brewers’ freedom to produce and market Tequila flavoured beer must not be curtailed. The Brewers of Europe seeks to ensure that Mexico observes the rules as laid down in an EU-Mexico bilateral Agreement on Spirit Drinks from 1997 and as prescribed by WTO law.

The Brewers of Europe filed a complaint to the Commission on 8 June urging an intervention with the Mexican authorities over the Tequila Regulatory Council’s unilateral trade restriction, in clear violation of its obligations under the 1997 EU-Mexico agreement on spirit drinks and in international trade law (the WTO).

The Brewers of Europe is concerned, not just by the adverse impact of the current restriction on the market-leading Tequila-flavoured beer, but also of the precedent this may set for other beers using Tequila in their aroma and potentially other flavoured beers.

The Brewers of Europe calls upon the European Commission to insist that the Mexican authorities immediately lift the export restriction imposed by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).

-END-

Related documents

A one-page Q&A put together by The Brewers of Europe is available here.

Contact

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.eu, @brewersofeurope

About us

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=995 Brewers’ response to the Council’s adoption of a new EU Directive on the structure of alcohol excise duties 2020-07-31T00:00:00+02:00 On 30 July the Council adopted amendments to Directive 92/83/EEC on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. 

Brewers fully support the additional flexibility now given to Member States to apply reduced excise duties on lower-alcohol beers, increasing the threshold at which taxes can be cut, from 2.8 to 3.5% abv. Governments are being given further opportunities to use fiscal measures to support low alcohol products and continued innovation by Europe’s dynamic brewers to meet growing consumer demand for a diverse range of lower alcohol beers.

However, the new rules on the measurement of Plato degrees will imply the unjustified over-taxation of flavoured beers in half the EU Member States. Discriminatory and totally contradictory to the harmonisation objectives of the EU Excise Directives, the decision to also tax beer’s ingredients added after fermentation is made all the more extraordinary by the fact it goes directly against the 2018 ruling of the European Court of Justice on how Plato should be applied to avoid discrimination. 

Having contested the Plato proposals from the start, see here the most recent comments from The Brewers of Europe, sent in the form of a letter to the Chair of ECOFIN in advance of the proposal’s adoption by the Council.

-END-

Contact

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.eu, @brewersofeurope

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=993 Excise duty: Letter to the Chair of ECOFIN, opposing the over-taxation of flavoured beers 2020-07-27T00:00:00+02:00 The Brewers of Europe has written an open letter to the Chair of the European Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) over the current proposal to over-tax flavoured beers.

Whilst brewers support the additional flexibility given to Member States to allowed reduced excise duties on lower-alcohol beers, the proposal around flavoured beers goes against the European Court of Justice and is unjustified, discriminatory and totally contradictory to the harmonisation objectives of the EU Excise Directives. 

Read the letter here.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=994 European Commission confirms possibility for Member States to cut VAT on beer in the hospitality sector 2020-07-24T00:00:00+02:00 The European Commission has written to The Brewers of Europe recognising the severe impact that COVID has had on the hospitality and beer sector across the Union, definitively shutting down many establishments and threatening the very existence of hundreds of thousands of SMEs. In the letter the European Commission highlights the opportunity within the EU’s VAT Directives for Member States to apply targeted reductions on VAT for food and drinks, including beer, served in the hospitality sector.

Read the European Commission’s reply here, plus the first and second letters sent by The Brewers of Europe.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=992 Urgent support of the hospitality sector needed, calls cross-party group of MEPs in letter to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission 2020-07-13T00:00:00+02:00 A cross-party group of MEPs have written to the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission to highlight the need for urgent support of the hospitality sector.

Across Europe, the service and entertainment establishments, along with bars and restaurants, have felt the impact of social distancing measures and the preceding lockdown hard. Without suitable support, the value chain that relies on these places of social interaction - including the brewing sector - will be deeply affected too. 

Headed by Ivan Štefanec, President of the European Parliament's Beer Club and of SME Europe, the group of signatory MEPs hails from multiple countries and parties, showing that this is an issue of Europe-wide importance, independent of party politics.

The letter below calls for immediate measures to be taken by national and European governments at this crucial time for the whole hospitality sector and the people that are dependent on it for their livelihoods.

You can view the letter (PDF) by clicking here.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=991 Brewers invite us to #RECONNECT 2020-06-24T00:00:00+02:00 The Brewers of Europe have launched a campaign, under the concept of #reconnect, to call for ongoing support of the hospitality sector in the wake of the COVID19 crisis and lockdown.

The hospitality sector is being invited to reopen, but this must be done in a safe and sustainable way.

Hundreds of thousands of bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants across Europe will need targeted, ongoing and continued support as consumer confidence gradually recovers.

With increased costs, reduced capacity, fewer customers and decreased sales, it is feared that many bars will have served their last beers.

However, a revitalised hospitality sector, supported by a prosperous brewing sector will mean increased value, revenues and job creation throughout the beer value chain, helping to reignite the wider society and economy.

Therefore, The Brewers of Europe and its members, promoting the interests of ten thousand breweries in Europe, are calling for support to businesses in the hospitality sector.

To ensure a safe and sustainable recovery and support those most hit by the shutdowns, we urge EU, national and local governments to pursue options under existing EU legislation.

Information about those options, and examples of how different countries are responding, can be found at the new campaign web-portal reconnect.beer.

Top European and world media have run a number of special features over the last week that examine the impact of coronavirus measures on Europe’s hospitality and beer sectors.

People can show their support and share their stories via the web-portal or on social media by using the hashtag #RECONNECT and by tagging @BrewersOfEurope.

Visit now reconnect.beer - supporting the brewing sector and the hospitality sector

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=989 Press Statement: Hospitality and COVID19 exit planning 2020-05-12T00:00:00+02:00 The Brewers of Europe is calling on the European Commission to consider setting up a special task force on hospitality and tourism including bars, pubs and cafes as part of its ‘European Roadmap’ towards lifting of COVID19 lockdowns which is due to be published on Wednesday.

In his letter to Mr Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Pavlos Photiades, President of The Brewers of Europe warned that with a third of Europe’s beer market closed due to the restrictions placed on the hospitality sector, many bars and cafes may never re-open, whilst a number of breweries will regrettably have brewed their last beer, despite the unprecedented support measures put in place.

Bars, pubs and cafes, but also breweries themselves, many of which are visitor destinations in their own right, are an integral part of the heritage and culture of many European countries and must be covered by the EU's COVID-19 Tourism strategy,” Mr Photiades said in his letter.

A possible option may be the setting up of a special task force on hospitality and tourism that looks at the unique challenge for the different establishments, including bars, restaurant, pubs and cafes,” he added.

The Brewers of Europe are also concerned that the brewing and hospitality sector often “find themselves at the bottom of the timetable for reopening” under the COVID19 exit plans currently being considered by the EU and European countries. They have signalled the need for a coordinated approach to reopening hospitality establishments that focuses on the ability of each establishment to follow health and safety rules, including on distancing.

Rebuilding consumer confidence in the "going out" and socialising experience without compromising safety, necessary social distancing and hygiene measures will be key. But bars, cafes and pubs need to reopen as soon as possible and government support will be needed for an economically viable exit during and beyond the gradual reopening and progressive relaxation of measures.

This support can come in the form of grants and loans but should also consider the opportunity for reduced VAT on the service of beers in bars, or specifically on tap, plus extensions and greater flexibility on the opportunity to offer reduced excise duty to smaller breweries,” Photiades said.

Due to the strategic importance of the hospitality sector for the future of the European brewing sector, I am keen to see all possible solutions considered to avoid a lost season for bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants, but also brewers, all without compromising on health and safety, core principles within any modern-day sustainable brewery.

Click to read the full letter sent to the European Commission.

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Contact

Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, sws@brewersofeurope.eu, @brewersofeurope

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=988 COVID19: Letter to EU, ECB & Finance Ministers on support to hospitality sector and supply chain 2020-03-24T00:00:00+01:00 The Brewers of Europe wishes to express sympathy and thoughts with the friends and families of loved ones suffering as a result of COVID-19 and with the people working to care for the vulnerable and keep vital services running. Extraordinary strength, action and solidarity from all parts of society are required to combat this crisis.

The Brewers of Europe supports the extraordinary measures being taken to restrict the spread of the virus, such as shutting down bars, restaurants and festivals, to prevent social gatherings.

However, in an open letter to the Presidents of the European Commission, Council, Parliament, Eurogroup and EBC, and the national finance ministers across Europe, we urge national and European policymakers to keep the impact on the hospitality sector front-of-mind when considering and proposing measures to soften the negative economic and personal effects during this time.  

There are several key supportive measures that we recommend for the hospitality sector, its wider beer value chain and all the people working throughout the sector:

  • Supportive national fiscal policies, which include short term refunding of tax and social charge payments already made, postponement of new payments, and targeted reductions in VAT and excise over the medium term, to boost recovery and job creation;  
  • Minimum net salary compensation (e.g. of 90%), by governments, of employees facing technical unemployment;
  • Grants and loans, including through the redirection of structural funds, putting the hospitality sector at the core of the new ECB economic stimulus program, plus exceptional state aid measures to compensate for lost earnings under Treaty Article 107(2)(b);
  • Appropriate insurance compensation in the case of forced closure or loss of unused stock;
  • The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative granting liquidity loans with minimal bureaucratic hurdles at zero interest rate to avoid sound companies collapsing, with flexible repayment terms to allow companies to rebuild balance sheets before repayments.

For centuries, these unique hubs for social gatherings have helped shape local communities, culture and the way of life across the continent – without fast, effective intervention, many of these businesses will disappear altogether from the European map, dramatically and irreversibly changing society forever. Taking the appropriate exceptional measures can help minimise as much as possible the impact on the hospitality sector but also the other sectors, such as brewing, that depend on it.  

According to the report published this week into the economic contribution of beer, in 2018 the brewing sector generated in the EU over 2.3 million jobs, €55 billion in value added and €44 billion in government tax revenues, with the biggest impacts seen in the hospitality sector.  

  • Read the full text of the letter sent to Europe’s Presidents - here.  
  • See the full report by Europe Economics on The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy - here
  • See a short leaflet on The Brewers of Europe and Europe’s beer sector - here.

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Contact :
Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, sws@brewersofeurope.org, @brewersofeurope

About us :
Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=983 PRESS RELEASE: Number of breweries in the EU hits 10,000 2019-12-05T00:00:00+01:00

Brussels, 5 December 2019 – There are now more than 10,000 breweries in the European Union according to the latest figures revealed today by The Brewers of Europe, whilst both the production and consumption of beer have gradually grown year on year for the last five years.

The figures – released as part of the 2019 edition of The Brewers of Europe’s Annual European Beer Trends Statistics Report – show continued growth in many key metrics. Beer production volumes have surpassed the 400 million hectolitre mark in the EU for the first time in a decade.

Consumption rose in every single country in 2018, with consumers able to choose from a more varied, more specialised range of beers. As some consumers switch towards lower strength products such as beer, and on certain occasions towards non- and lower alcohol within the beer category, this beer growth is coinciding with a decline both in overall alcohol volumes and in harmful drinking in Europe.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, said: ‘It is fantastic to be able to announce the 10,000th brewery in the European Union. The Brewers of Europe welcomes all new breweries, many of which are SMEs and microbreweries, and we are very much encouraged by their role in diversifying and strengthening the sector as a whole across Europe.

‘More than ever, brewers have stepped up to meet consumers’ expectations for innovation in products, more sustainable production, as well as for increased choice such as lower-alcohol offerings and speciality beers,’ he added

For over half a decade now, beer statistics have told a story of steady and sustained progress, further strengthening beer’s contribution to the European economy as a major consumer good and export commodity.

In the 2019 edition of the report, many national narratives are also evident. Poland is now the second largest beer producer – swapping places with the UK.

France alone has increased the number of breweries in the country by 45% year-on-year, from 1100 to 1600. Slovenia and Ireland saw their brewery numbers rise by 50% and 25% respectively.

Exports have once again increased, with Belgium remaining the largest dispatcher of beer within the EU, just ahead of Germany, whilst the Netherlands continues to export around 40% of its beer production to other parts of the globe.

As demonstrated by the statistics in this report, beer is growing in Europe and in many individual countries and markets – no matter how big or how small.

Bergeron added, ‘We congratulate the passionate, engaged, innovative people in the 10,000 plus breweries that enable our sector to celebrate its progress.’

 

Notes to Editors :
The 2019 edition of Beer Statistics was compiled from data collated by national brewers’ associations through surveys carried out by The Brewers of Europe and Eurostat.

Contact :
Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, sws@brewersofeurope.org, @brewersofeurope

About us :
Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=980 A new President for the European Parliament’s Beer Club 2019-09-17T00:00:00+02:00 17 September 2019: The Brewers of Europe is delighted that Slovak MEP Ivan Štefanec is to become the new President of the European Parliament’s Beer Club.

MEP Štefanec -- who steps up from his role as Vice-President of the Beer Club during the last parliamentary term -- stated: “Brewing in Europe creates over two million jobs and is a great example of the cohabitation of leading global players, well-established local companies and dynamic new SMEs.

“With around ten thousand breweries active across the whole EU, beer is one of Europe’s biggest global success stories. That’s why I am delighted to be the new President of the European Parliament’s Beer Club,” he added.

Štefanec is member of the Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, Chairman of the Slovak Delegation in the European People’s Party and Chairman of SME Europe.

“Over the last five years, MEP Štefanec was an outstanding Vice-President of the EP Beer Club and a brilliant advocate for our sector. We very much look forward to working further with him during the next EU mandate to make the club an even greater success,” said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe.

“Following her retirement from the European Parliament, The Brewers of Europe would also wish to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Renate Sommer, the outgoing President, for her years of support to the brewing sector as faithful member and then passionate and active President of the EP Beer Club.”

About the European Parliament Beer Club:

Established in 1995, the European Parliament (EP) Beer Club is a forum for discussion and information exchange about issues that affect the brewing sector within the European Union. The EP Beer Club believes that Beer is part of Europe’s heritage and tradition, and aims to support the responsible growth and stability of the brewing sector in the European Union.

www.epbeerclub.eu

About The Brewers of Europe

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 plus breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

The Brewers of Europe provides technical support to the EP Beer Club.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=979 Joint Statement for an Ambitious Horizon Europe Programme 2019-09-16T00:00:00+02:00 16 September 2019

We, the undersigned 93 European associations representing key European research & innovation stakeholders, hereby urge the EU Institutions to make research, development and innovation (RD&I) a priority within the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. We call on the Council of the EU to raise the budget allocated to the Horizon Europe programme to at least €120 billion (in 2018 prices), of which at least 60% should be dedicated to the “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness” pillar.

We very much welcomed the EU Institutions’ efforts to reach a partial agreement on Horizon Europe. This enabled to start the preparation for the implementation of the programme in time. The European innovation community is committed to be actively involved in a concrete co-creation process towards Horizon Europe’s successful implementation. However, the programme will need an adequate budget at the level of its ambitions. The European Parliament has already taken a stand to prioritise RD&I in the EU budget. Similarly, we encourage Member States to support a budget of at least €120 billion (in 2018 prices). This would ensure that Horizon Europe delivers on its promises to:

  • Boost Europe’s future growth, employment and competitiveness. As recognised in the European Industrial Strategy, RD&I is the real engine of growth. Getting a sufficient budget for Horizon Europe would not only mean the creation of up to 100,000 jobs in RD&I activities between 2021-2027, but also €11 of GDP in return for each €1 invested over 25 years (1).
  • Secure Europe’s seat amongst the frontrunners of the technological revolution. While the international competition for innovative solutions escalates, European RD&I expenditure remains relatively low compared to our global competitors. The target of 3% of GDP invested in R&D should now become a reality.
  • Develop and scale up the technologies that will power our continent in the 21st century. Horizon Europe needs to build on the successes of Horizon 2020 and scale up the investments made so far. As stated by the Lamy Group, we need a budget that paves the way for Europe to deliver on the key societal challenges of today and anticipate those of tomorrow.

For such promises to be fulfilled, excellent cross-border collaborative RD&I with impact needs to be prioritised within Horizon Europe. EU Members States should allocate a budget share of at least 60% of Horizon Europe’s total budget to its pillar II - Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness. This pillar is the truly collaborative part of Horizon Europe, breaking silos to promote the flow of knowledge between public research and industry. This Horizon Europe pillar II is crucial to:

  • Build long-term trust-based partnerships amongst a wide variety of European RD&I actorswhich is an indispensable element to strengthen Europe’s RD&I ecosystems and industrial value-chains. This would ensure the Industry’s uptake of novel technologies and scale up into new solutions, products and services, improving people’s well-being and quality of life, and increasing European competitiveness.
  • Reduce risk and uncertainty and stimulate business investment in Europeby demonstrating the EU’s support to technology-intensive sectors (including Key Enabling Technologies). This would give the right incentive to private innovators to invest in Europe, rather than abroad.
  • Join forces at EU level to better face the great challenges of todayand deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Horizon Europe pillar II, containing missions and partnerships, especially aims at this ambitious objective and therefore needs to be supported by an adequate budget.

We, the undersigned associations, are ready to further discuss these recommendations with the EU Institutions. We are fully convinced that Europe has the potential to lead the global innovation race and to remain a model of economic and social prosperity. For that, Europe needs to strongly invest in pan-European collaborative RD&I.

Download the full press release (pdf) by clicking here

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(1) See: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/budget-may2018-horizon-europe-regulation_en.pdf

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=977 Statement on personnel changes 2019-09-09T00:00:00+02:00 Monday 9 September:

With the departure of the previous Communications Director, Simon Spillane has today expanded his responsibilities at The Brewers of Europe to take up a new post as Director: Communications and Public Affairs. Meanwhile Mathieu Schneider will also see his role broadened, becoming Project Director and also taking on responsibility for the European Brewers Forum, an annual gathering of over a thousand industry figures. As part of the restructuring, Anna-Maria De Smet is upgraded to Senior Director: Regulatory and Public Affairs.


Contact:

Simon Spillane, Director Communications and Public Affairs, +32 2 551 1810 or sws@brewersofeurope.org

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 plus breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

Follow us on  TwitterFacebookLinkedin and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=976 Brewers make 2022 consumer labelling commitment to European Commission 2019-09-05T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 5 September 2019 - The Brewers of Europe and its members have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and committed, through a Brewers’ Ambition, to labelling ingredients and energy values on all beer bottles and cans in the EU by 2022.

The ambitious targets were voluntarily agreed with the European Commission and adopted by the General Assembly of The Brewers of Europe in June.

The signing ceremony was attended by The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis who said:

I am delighted to be part of today’s event. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you for your commitments to alcohol labelling. And I also want to encourage you to continue being a pioneer around this issue in the wider alcohol sector. Consumers have a right to know more. Many of them want more details on what their drinks contain and what it means for their health. They want this information to be clear and transparent – a recurrent message we receive in all our public health and food safety work.

In the last four years brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients and energy labelling in full accordance with Regulation (EU) 1169/20111, setting ambitious targets along the way. As shown in the implementation report published today, Europe’s brewers have been making significant progress towards better consumer information, with 60% of beers already labelling calories, whilst 85% carry an ingredients list. With the signing by key countries of the MoU, those numbers will already grow significantly by next year.

The purpose of the MoU is that companies take public responsibility for the declaration of ingredients and energy information on the labels of their products, whilst trade associations support these efforts including through setting local sectoral ambitions and collective reporting.

The MoU is open to companies and associations from all alcoholic beverage sectors, provided that the signatory fully endorses the MoU and its commitment to the on-pack labelling of both ingredients and energy values. The ultimate wish is that consumers receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all alcoholic beverages.

“The main thing is to have information clearly displayed on the labels,” commented Mariann Skar, Secretary General of Eurocare. “We hope that by providing more information at least gives people a choice. We are praising the brewers because the information is on the label. Having off-label ingredients and calories, online, is just not good enough.”

Thirty-seven initial signatories, including 25 national brewers’ associations, put their name today to the MoU and the Brewers’ Ambition 2022, as part of an event that showcased hundreds of different beer brands from all over Europe that already meet the labelling requirements, demonstrating the breadth of the commitment and the increasing diversity of a European beer sector that now counts over 9500 breweries.

Signing for The Brewers of Europe, President Pavlos Photiades said: “I am delighted that EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis has attended the official signing of the MoU and our Brewers’ Ambition 2022. This is a significant step in a process we started four years ago, demonstrating our members’ ambition to ensure all beers label ingredients and calories. Fulfilling this commitment, Europe’s brewing sector is meeting the expectations of consumers on how alcoholic beverages should be providing ingredients and calorie information”.

-END-

Contact:

Simon Spillane, Communications Director, +32 2 551 1810 or sws@brewersofeurope.org

Note to editors:

The MoU, the Brewers’ Ambition 2022 and the latest implementation report can all be found alongside the list of current brewer signatories on beerwisdom.eu.

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 plus breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org and www.beerwisdom.eu.

 

Join the conversation using #BeerWisdom and #ProudToBeClear

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=975 All beers should be labelling ingredients and calories by end 2022 2019-06-13T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 13 June 2019 - The Brewers of Europe wants ingredients and energy values to appear on the labels of all beer bottles and cans in the EU by 2022.

There will be a signing of a new ‘memorandum of understanding (MoU)’ with the European Commission in September to formalise the brewers’ commitment.

The MoU supported by brewers is open to companies and associations from all alcoholic beverage sectors, provided that the signatory fully endorses the MoU and its commitment to the on-pack labelling of both ingredients and energy values.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said of the General Assembly’s latest decision, “The Brewers of Europe’s members have set clear ambitions for the next steps towards ensuring all beers label ingredients and calories. I am delighted that EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis will in September attend the official signing by our members of the MoU and our Ambition 2022.”

In the last four years brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients and energy labelling in full accordance with Regulation (EU) 1169/2011(1). As recently reported, 60% of beers are now labelling calories, whilst 85% already carry an ingredients list.

Commenting following the publication of the brewers’ latest labelling results, EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis said: “I welcome brewers’ commitment to provide the full list of ingredients and the energy values per 100ml on the labels of all pre-pack beers. The EU Regulation sets the rules to follow and I’m delighted that brewers are fulfilling these high standards.  This is in the interest of public health and consumers information”. 

The purpose of the MoU is that companies take public responsibility for the declaration of both ingredients and energy information on the labels of their products, whilst trade associations support these efforts including through setting local sectoral ambitions and collective reporting. The ultimate objective is that consumers receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all alcoholic beverages.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, added: “Consumers can only be empowered to take informed decisions if there is a level playing field of complete and comparable information on ingredients and energy values. The EU Regulation lays down the rules and standards. We invite the other alcoholic beverage sectors to follow our lead and sign up to the same memorandum of understanding on labelling ingredients and energy information”.

 

(1) Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers sets horizontal rules and standards governing the labelling of all food and drink products

 

Contact:

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

Note to editors:

The European brewers’ latest implementation data can be found on beerwisdom.eu.

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 plus breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

Follow us on  TwitterFacebookLinkedin and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org and www.beerwisdom.eu.

Join the conversation using #BeerWisdom and #Alcohollabelling.

 

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=974 European brewers ahead of schedule with better ingredients and calorie labelling 2019-05-28T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 28 May 2019. Continuing to exceed expectations, The Brewers of Europe have announced that 60% of beers sold in Europe are now labelling calories.

Brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and energy information in full accordance with EU law, on-label and online, since 2015. In July 2018 the commitment was bolstered with a recommendation to all breweries to list ingredients and calories on the labels of pre-packaged beer containers (bottles, cans etc.).

As reported on beerwisdom.eu, in addition to beating the target on energy information, 85% of beers in Europe now also label their ingredients.

The Brewers of Europe, promoting the interests of over 9,500 breweries, is now into the fifth year of its push towards even greater transparency and better information for consumers. Brewers are providing these basic product facts by voluntarily implementing the labelling rules already laid down in the EU’s general regulation on food information to consumers, even if there currently remains an EU level exemption for alcoholic beverages above 1.2% abv from any legal obligation to provide this information.

"I welcome brewers’ commitment to provide the full list of ingredients and the energy values per 100ml on the labels of all pre-pack beers. The EU Regulation sets the rules to follow and I’m delighted that brewers are fulfilling these high standards. This is in the interest of public health and consumers information", said EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, added, “we are ahead of schedule in fulfilling our landmark voluntary commitment. Today no less than 85% of our beers in the EU label their ingredients and 60% of pre-packed beers label calorie information, per 100ml, the legal reference volume for all drinks, alcoholic or not”. 

The Brewers of Europe commitment is about meeting European consumer demand. According to (*) Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), “It is crucial that nutritional information and ingredients listings are provided for the consumer on the label of alcoholic products and in conformance with the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (1169/2011).”

The Brewers of Europe believes that, by fulfilling its consumer information commitment, Europe’s brewing sector is providing the right template and meeting consumers’ expectations. We will continue reporting on roll-out and inviting the other alcoholic beverage sectors to follow our lead, in order to ensure consumers, receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all drinks.


(*) Published letter from Monique Goyens to the EU Health Commissioner on the alcohol industry self-regulatory proposal, 12 April 2018

 

Contact:

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

Note to editors:

The European brewers’ commitment to providing ingredients and nutrition information can be found here, with the latest implementation data to be found on beerwisdom.eu.

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 plus breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

Follow us on  TwitterFacebookLinkedin and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org and www.beerwisdom.eu.

Join the conversation using #BeerWisdom and #Alcohollabelling.

 

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=971 Commissioner Andriukaitis commends breweries for progress on consumer information 2018-12-05T00:00:00+01:00 European Health and Food Safety Commissioner’s comments follow latest sector report

BRUSSELS 5 December 2018.  EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis has again praised brewers for their commitment to improved consumer information.

Speaking today at the annual general assembly of The Brewers of Europe, Commissioner Andriukaitis said I welcome the commitment of the Brewers of Europe to provide the full list of ingredients and the calorie content on all pre-packed beers. This will help the people in the EU to make better informed and, I hope, healthier choices. Transparency has been one of the trendiest words in the food and drink industry in recent years - a clear illustration that it is important to consumers. Therefore, I call upon the whole beer industry to implement the commitment to meet consumer expectations.”

The Brewers of Europe’s latest statistics publication on the state of the beer sector reported that no-alcohol and lower-alcohol beer now represents 6% of the EU beer market. EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis commented:

“It is interesting to observe the increased production & consumption of non-alcoholic 0.0% beer. It shows that healthier choices have become more popular among consumers and that the industry is adapting well to this demand. It is one of those win-win situations: healthier choices for people and new market for producers.”

This comes as brewers have already been setting a leading example for the sector, choosing to implement transparency measures so consumers can make informed choices about their beer.

Previously in 2015, The Brewers of Europe announced a commitment to voluntarily provide understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate consumer information, one of over 100 responsibility commitments made by Europe’s brewers under the Beer Pledge.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary-General of The Brewers of Europe said “The Beer Pledge is our 6-year strong commitment to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm. In addition, we have stepped up our voluntary commitment on consumer information. In July we recommended to all breweries to list ingredients and calories on the labels of pre-pack containers. We now estimate that by the end of this year no less than 3 out of 4 beers will label ingredients and 1 out of 2 beers will label calorie information per 100ml, on-pack”.

The latest report for the beer sector was launched yesterday at the eighth annual Beer Serves Europe event, showing that beer consumption within the EU fell slightly year-on-year. However, the trend over the past four years has been an increase in beer consumption, (though still a way off the levels prior to the global economic crisis in 2008) whilst coinciding with a drop in overall alcohol consumption, binge drinking and adolescent drinking.

A 2018 Reputation Institute survey of over 10,000 Europeans of legal drinking age in 12 counties found that nearly half are making moderate alcohol consumption part of their lifestyle or culture and now recognise the innovative low- and no-alcohol options offered by brewers. In 2017, the EU produced nearly 900 million litres of non-alcoholic* beer, according to the data collected by Eurostat.

This demonstrates that a shift towards beer, a typically low alcohol beverage, coupled with the increased availability of even lower alcohol and non-alcoholic beers, is compatible with and maybe even contributing to the improved consumption patterns of Europe’s ever more health-conscious citizens.

 

Notes to editors:

The 2015 European brewers’ commitment to listing ingredients and nutrition information can be found here.

Launched in the European Parliament in 2012, The European Beer pledge is a voluntary initiative by Europe’s brewers to support EU members states in reducing alcohol related harm.

Press release 9 July 2018: Europe’s brewers continue to lead by example on food information to consumers

Contact:

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=970 Exports boost Europe’s beer production to eight-year high 2018-12-04T00:00:00+01:00 Beer Serves Europe launches latest sector report from The Brewers of Europe

BRUSSELS 4 December 2018. Europe’s beer production rose to an eight-year high in 2017 bolstered by record exports, a rise in micro-breweries and increased low-alcohol products.

According to The Brewers of Europe’s latest report on Europe’s beer sector, production increased by 2 million HL 39.6 billion litres and exports reached an all-time high. Now one in five beers is shipped abroad, a third of that to outside the EU.

With a production of 9.3 billion litres Germany was the top producer - one in every five beers produced in the EU originates from Germany, followed by the United Kingdom and Poland (both at 4 billion litres produced, each representing 10% of the total). German and Belgian breweries exported the most beer outside their countries, 1.5 billion litres each.

In addition, the EU now produces nearly 900 million litres of non-alcoholic* beer (2% of all beer) each year, according to the data collected by Eurostat for 2017, whilst production of lower alcohol beers is also growing. This, coupled with the rise in the number of microbrewers and SMEs over the past year, shows how consumer demand is evolving and how the sector is diversifying to meet it. Around 3 quarters of the 9,500 breweries are SMEs, with the United Kingdom alone now accounting for 2,430 breweries, many of which are smaller producers.

Speaking at the 8th annual Beer Serves Europe launch event today, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary-General of The Brewers of Europe said “Beer forms an integral part of our culture and has been enjoyed in communities across Europe for several thousand years. The brewing sector is a fundamental element of the European economy, combining local traditions with innovation. The diversification of the sector benefits many areas of the economy: in competitiveness, trade, job creation and innovation.”

1: Europe’s buoyant beer sector

  • EU beer production at an eight-year high of nearly 39.7 billion litres
  • Germany, UK, Poland top producers in 2017
  • Two-thirds of the beer produced in the EU came from seven Member States.

Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland were the top three producers. Other countries making a high volume of beer were Spain (3.8 billion litres, or 9%), The Netherlands (2.4 billion litres, or 6%), France (2.1 billion litres or 5%) and Belgium (approximately 2 billion litres or 5%).

Compared with 2016, Portugal (+8%) recorded the highest increase in the production of beer, followed by Italy (+7%), Slovakia and the United Kingdom (both +6%) and Cyprus (+5%).

  • The number of active breweries increased by nearly 1,000 last year alone to almost 9,500 in the EU.
  • There has been an increase of around 6,000 breweries in the last 10 years.

Of the 9,500 breweries, about three-quarters are microbrewers and SMEs, driving for ever greater diversity and choice now available for Europe’s beer consumers. With 2,430 breweries, the United Kingdom has the highest number of breweries in the EU, followed by Germany (1,492), France (1,100), Italy (868) and Spain (521).

2: Consumer demand is evolving

It is interesting to note that the increase in beer consumption over the last four years (though still a way off the levels prior to the global economic crisis in 2008) has coincided with a drop in overall alcohol consumption, binge drinking and adolescent drinking.

This demonstrates that a shift towards beer, a typically low alcohol beverage, coupled with the increased availability of even lower alcohol and non-alcoholic beers, is compatible with and maybe even contributing to the improved consumption patterns of Europe’s ever more health-conscious citizens.

Leading by example, Brewers are also committed to transparency so consumers can make informed choices about their beer. By the end of this year, two-thirds of Europe’s beer will be labelling ingredients and over half will be voluntarily labelling calories in the same way that other food and drink products already have to do. Our commitment to voluntarily provide understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate consumer information is just one of the 100+ responsibility commitments made by Europe’s brewers under the Beer Pledge. This pledge is our 6-year strong commitment to support EU Member States reduce alcohol-related harm.

A 2018 Reputation Institute survey of over 10,000 Europeans of legal drinking age in 12 countries found that nearly half are making moderate alcohol consumption part of their lifestyle or culture and now recognise the innovative low- and no-alcohol options offered by brewers.

3: Beer serves Europe, let’s treat it fairly

Europe’s brewers call for a sustainable tax regime that recognises beer's positive impact throughout the value chain, from ‘grain to glass’. Throughout the value chain, our 9,500 breweries generate around 2.3 million jobs in Europe. Governments across the EU raise nearly €42 billion in tax revenues generated by brewing, including €10.9 billion in excise duties on beer.

  • The brewing sector injects €50 billion into the European economy overall, or the equivalent of the Luxembourg GDP.

4: Europe’s beers serve the world

As one of Europe’s premier cultural exports, beer is enjoyed around the world – supporting the sector and creating jobs at home. Many member states have increased their exports, now 8.7 billion litres of beer brewed within the EU is shipped abroad.

  • Beer exported beyond the EU was worth €3.4 billion last year.
  • The top destination countries outside the EU for Europe’s brewers are the US, China and Canada, but over the past twenty years Europe’s brewers have extended beer trade to 123 countries around the world.

Data collected by Eurostat for 2017 shows that the United States was by far the main destination for beer exports to non-EU countries (1.1 billion litres of beer exported there in 2017, or 31% of total extra-EU exports of beer), followed by China (520 million litres, 15%), Canada (210 million litres, 6%), Korea (175 million litres, 5%), Switzerland (111 million litres, 3%) , Australia (100 million liters,3%) and Taiwan (95 million litres, 3%).

  • Belgium and Germany are Europe’s biggest beer exporters, with 1.5 billion litres shipped abroad by each country last year, of which over a third to countries beyond the EU. These two countries are followed closely by The Netherlands (1.4 billion litres), then France (0.7 billion litres) and the United Kingdom (0.6 billion litres).

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Notes to Editors:

The 2018 edition of Beer Statistics was compiled from data collated by national brewers’ associations through surveys carried out by The Brewers of Europe and Eurostat.

Eurostat trade data for 2017 can be viewed here.

Historical analysis is supported by information in The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy, a report commissioned by The Brewers of Europe and conducted by Europe Economics, released in February 2016.

*Non-alcoholic beer is defined as beer that is 0.5% alcohol by volume (abv) or lower.

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 9,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=968 Passing of Piero Perron, President of The Brewers of Europe 2002-2006 2018-10-29T00:00:00+01:00 It is with great sadness that The Brewers of Europe announces the sudden passing of Piero Perron.

Piero Perron will be sorely missed, having been an ever present in The Brewers of Europe General Assembly for the last fifteen years, as an active member of both the Italian and the Spanish brewers’ delegations. 
 
As President of The Brewers of Europe from 2002 to 2006, Piero Perron laid the foundations for today's Association. It is under his chairmanship and with his personal dedication, touring Europe as a voice for strength in unity and purpose across the brewing sector, that the number of Member Associations of The Brewers of Europe doubled within just a few years. It is under his guidance and leadership, not just during but also following his Presidency, that the governance of The Brewers of Europe was modernised and the social responsibility of Europe's brewing sector became a crucial topic at the heart of The Brewers of Europe.

Piero Perron was not only a dedicated believer in The Brewers of Europe, but he equally saw strong National Brewers Associations as crucial to the sustainability of a vibrant, successful brewing sector, serving over the years as President both of the Brewers of Spain and of the Italian Beer and Malt Association.

Finally, it is also on a personal level, with his interest and passion for learning and sharing experiences, that Piero touched the lives of so many across Europe’s brewing fraternity and beyond. At this sad time, we have special thoughts for Piero's family, especially his wife Angela and for all those who had a chance to work closely with him.

The Brewers of Europe owe Piero a lot

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Contact: 

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The brewing sector adds €50bn annually to the EU economy and provides over 2.3 million jobs. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website www.brewersofeurope.org.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=967 MEPs reject discriminatory Commission proposal to over-tax certain beer styles 2018-10-25T00:00:00+02:00 BRUSSELS 25 October 2018. Members of the European Parliament have voted against the European Commission’s discriminatory proposals to over-tax flavoured, typically low-alcohol, beers.

According to the EU Treaties (Article 113), following a proposal from the European Commission, the Council shall adopt provisions for the harmonisation of legislation concerning excise duties, “to the extent that such harmonisation is necessary to ensure the establishment and the functioning of the internal market and to avoid distortion of competition.”

Whilst supporting the remainder of the Commission’s proposals for revisions to the EU’s Structures Directive (92/83/EEC), MEPs sensibly chose to adopt in Strasbourg amendments that reject the Commission’s proposal to distort competition through a tax system whereby, in any given country, flavoured beers and regular beers of the same alcohol content end up paying a different tax rate. 

We are pleased that the European Parliament has supported our recommendation to not unfairly penalise certain categories of beer,said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary-General of The Brewers of Europe. “It is laid down in the Directives that excise duty’s purpose is to tax the alcohol consumed in products. Flavourings added after fermentation have no impact on alcohol content, so should have no impact on the tax paid.

The ‘Degrees Plato’ is the traditional means, still used in half of the EU member states as an alternative to ABV (alcohol by volume), to calculate beer excise duties on the basis of the concentration of fermentable sugars prior to fermentation. In May of this year, a landmark case brought before the European Court of Justice ruled that, since ingredients added after fermentation have zero impact on the alcohol content of the beer, they should also have zero impact on the degree Plato for excise purposes.

The discussion now moves back to the Council, which must “have regard to” the opinion of the European Parliament.

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Contact: 

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The brewing sector adds €50bn annually to the EU economy and provides over 2.3 million jobs. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website www.brewersofeurope.org.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=966 Council and Parliament called upon to reject contentious proposal from the European Commission on how to tax beers 2018-08-29T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels 29 August 2018. The Brewers of Europe warns that the latest European Commission proposal on the revised structures directive flouts EU law by contradicting the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice. The beer sector had expected that the Commission’s proposal would follow the Court’s decision on the Degrees Plato measurement system, used by half of the EU’s Member States for calculating beer excise duties.

As the Council’s tax working groups resume their discussions next week on the European Commission’s “Proposal amending Directive 92/83/EEC on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages”, The Brewers of Europe calls upon the Council, the European Parliament, the EESC and the European Commission to ensure that the revised Structures Directive is lawful and delivers on its objectives.

Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, said, “Member States would be in breach of EU law if they were to follow the clarification provided in the revised structures directive as it is currently proposed by the Commission.”

By the European Commission making a proposal that "all the ingredients of the beer, including those added after fermentation, shall be taken into account for the purposes of measuring the degree Plato", it is no longer solely a tax on the alcohol. Under the Commission’s proposal and in contradiction with the CJEU judgment, these sugars would be considered for the measurement of the degree Plato and therefore the calculation of the excise due.

The result is that a flavoured beer – even if produced by a brewery of the same size, in the same country – would be subject to a higher rate than a regular beer of the same alcohol content. This is discriminatory and completely contradictory to the harmonisation objectives of the Directives.

The Brewers of Europe sent its latest letter to Europe’s Taxation Commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, expressing brewers’ dissatisfaction and disbelief at the Commission’s proposal to contradict the decision of the EU’s highest court (Case C-30/17).

Bergeron added: “Our correspondence with the Taxation Commissioner shows that the sole justification found for the contentious proposals relates to the technical, practical and economic challenges of measuring and enforcing Plato legally and correctly. However, we are submitting evidence that shows these concerns are completely unfounded.”  It is noteworthy that none of the countries already applying Plato in line with the CJEU ruling cited any concerns with measuring Plato correctly or carrying out compliance checks.

Whilst The Brewers of Europe supports the majority of the Commission’s proposal, to ensure Better Regulation and respect of the Rule of Law, we call upon the Council and the European Parliament to reject this part of the proposal and invite the Commission to amend it to clarify that ingredients added after fermentation shall not be considered for the purposes of measuring the degree Plato.

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Note to editors: 

Degrees Plato is a scale for measuring the ratio of water to fermentable sugar in beer. It is used as an alternative to ABV – alcohol by volume – in half of EU Member States to calculate beer excise duties.

In its ruling on 17 May, the European Court of Justice clarifying the Degrees Plato calculation was clear that you cannot have a system for taxing the alcohol content of beer whereby flavoured beer and a regular beer - of the same alcohol content, produced by breweries of the same size, in the same country – pay a different rate.  Visit: mediacenter The Brewers of Europe

In 2015 the brewing sector added €10.9bn in total excise duty for EU governments.

Europe’s brewers call for a sustainable tax regime that recognises beer's positive impact throughout the value chain, from ‘grain to glass’. Visit www.beerserveseurope.eu

Contact: 

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The brewing sector adds €50bn annually to the EU economy and provides over 2.3 million jobs. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website www.brewersofeurope.org.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=965 Europe’s brewers continue to lead by example on food information to consumers 2018-07-09T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 9 July 2018. The Brewers of Europe announced today that it is stepping up its voluntary commitment on consumer information, recommending to all breweries to list ingredients and calories on the labels of pre-pack containers.

Brewers have since 2015 been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and calorie information in full accordance with EU law, on-label and online. As we celebrate our 3rd anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to meet consumers’ expectations.

Today we are taking our commitment even further. I am proud to announce that The Brewers of Europe is bolstering its commitment with a recommendation to all breweries to list ingredients and calories on the labels of pre-pack containers”, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe.

The decision to voluntarily provide this information is just one of the +100 responsibility commitments made by Europe’s brewers under the Beer Pledge. This pledge is our 6-year strong commitment to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm.

The consumer information commitment was recently praised by EU Health Commissioner Andriukaitis: “I appreciate the rigour and ambition with which The Brewers of Europe and the beer sector have been committed to providing information to consumers.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, added, “we are on track in fulfilling our landmark voluntary commitment. We now estimate that by end 2018, no less than 3 out of 4 beers in the EU will label their ingredients and 1 out of 2 beers will label calorie information, per 100ml, the legal reference volume for all drinks, alcoholic or not”.

The Brewers of Europe commitment is about meeting consumers’ expectations. Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) said that, “It is crucial that nutritional information and ingredients listings are provided for the consumer on the label of alcoholic products and in conformance with the Food Information to Consumers Regulation (1169/2011).

The Brewers of Europe believes that, by fulfilling its consumer information commitment, Europe’s brewing sector is providing the right template and meeting consumers’ expectations. We will continue reporting on roll-out and inviting the other alcoholic beverage sectors to follow our lead, in order to ensure consumers, receive understandable, recognisable, comparable and accurate information for all drinks.

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Contact:

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

Note to editors:

The 2015 European brewers’ commitment to listing ingredients and nutrition information can be found here.

Launched in the European Parliament in 2012, The European Beer pledge is a voluntary initiative by Europe’s brewers to support EU members states in reducing alcohol related harm.

About us: 

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org and www.beerwisdom.eu.

Join the conversation using #BeerWisdom and #RightToKnow.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=964 Pavlos Photiades elected for second term as The Brewers of Europe President 2018-06-06T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels 6 June 2018. Pavlos Photiades, Managing Director of Photos Photiades Breweries, will serve a second term as President of The Brewers of Europe.

Pavlos Photiades was re-elected President of The Brewers of Europe for a second term at today’s annual general meeting of the Association in Brussels. Pavlos Photiades commented on his appointment, “I am honoured to continue in this role at such an exciting and challenging time for brewers. I look forward to working with the team on issues affecting our sector at large.”   

Mr. Photiades is Managing Director of Photos Photiades Breweries and Photos Photiades Group, the leading brewery and beverage production and distribution group of companies in Cyprus and has been serving as a President of The Brewers of Europe since 2016.

With EU beer production rising above 40 billion litres for the first time since the economic crisis and 20 new breweries opening every week, today Europe is home to over 8,500 breweries. A successful mix of world-leading multinationals, deep-rooted regional breweries, and thriving SMEs, Europe’s brewers generate an estimated 2.3 million jobs from ‘grain to glass’. 

Upon his last election, Mr. Photiades had commented “Europe’s brewing world is changing fast with the combined trends of consolidation and the blossoming of small and medium-sized breweries. I will see to it that [we} capitalise on these changes”. 

Two years later, Mr. Photiades’ ongoing leadership and dedication have contributed largely to the creation of the first ever Brewers Forum event in Brussels. Tomorrow, The Brewers of Europe will welcome hundreds of brewing professionals from 40 countries for two days of exhibitions, debates, tasting and seminars about beer.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe congratulated Mr. Photiades on his appointment, saying “Since joining The Brewers of Europe Board several years ago and for the past two years serving as President, Pavlos Photiades has proven himself to be an invaluable member of the Association’s top level of governance. I look forward to continuing our great collaboration. He has already made a big contribution to the work of The Brewers of Europe”.

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Note to editors: Mr. Pavlos Photiades (born 1964) is Managing Director of Photos Photiades Breweries and Photos Photiades Group, the leading brewery and beverage production and distribution group of companies in Cyprus with subsidiaries in Greece, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia. Photos Photiades Group is also involved in Insurance and Real Estate Development. Mr. Photiades has served on the Board of Directors of several public companies in Cyprus and Greece and has been serving as a President of The Brewers of Europe since 2016. Mr. Photiades studied Economics at Harvard University where he graduated in 1988 having been awarded twice the Harvard Scholarship for academic achievement. He also holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 495 583 070 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org   

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and visit our website www.brewersofeurope.org.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=962 Revised Structures Directive should be consistent with latest ECJ decision 2018-05-17T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 17 May 2018. The Brewers of Europe welcomes today’s decision by the European Court of Justice clarifying the Degrees Plato calculation, a scale widely used to determine excise duty rates for beer.   
 
Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe Pierre-Olivier Bergeron said, “We hope that this clarification will be reflected in the European Commission’s draft revision of the Council Directive 92/83 on the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, which should be published before this summer.” 
 
Given brewing’s renaissance in Europe and its importance as a jobs and growth provider, it’s critical that policy-makers ensure that beer tax regimes support the value chain. Latest figures show that the brewing sector adds €50bn annually to the EU economy and over €42bn in tax revenues for governments. 
 
Brewers also make a vital contribution to their local communities. Small and medium-sized brewers are major customers for farmers and suppliers in brewing regions. Of the 8,500 breweries operating today in Europe, 1,000 were launched in the past year alone. 
 
The European Commission has made it clear that revising the current legislation should help reduce administrative and compliance costs, improve the revenue collection in some areas, reduce fraud and facilitate legitimated trade, as well as ensuring a higher level of human health protection.  
 
The Brewers of Europe has advised that the Council Directive 92/83/EEC of 19 October 1992 establishes an appropriate legal framework for taxing alcoholic beverages based on a series of rules that recognise the specifics of individual products.  
 
The deceptively simple solution of taxing all alcoholic beverages on the percentage of alcohol by volume overlooks the varying structures of the different drinks sectors, the integral role played by beer in Europe's economy and the fact that beer is so much more than alcohol. 
 
We call for taxation to continue to be based on product categories and not solely on alcohol content regardless of the product. 
 
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Note to editors: Degrees Plato is a scale for measuring the ratio of water to fermentable sugar. 
 
Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org 
 
About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=960 Following the presentation to the European Commission of a joint inter-sectorial framework on ingredients listing and nutrition information 2018-03-14T00:00:00+01:00 Brussels 14 March 2018. Alcoholic beverage sectors presented this week to the EU Health Commissioner a joint framework to voluntarily list ingredients and nutrition information, hereby opening a crucial phase: implementation by all sectors, not just the brewers.

EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis welcomed the fact that the sectors had respected the deadline set by the European Commission for submitting a joint self-regulatory framework on the provision of nutrition information and ingredients listing.

The meeting was also an opportunity for the individual beer, cider, spirits and wine sectors to unveil both to the Commissioner and to each other, their individual annexes explaining how each sector would be moving forward with implementation.

Following the publication of the sector annexes, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron stated: “Brewers are responsible for their own implementation annex and will pursue their work and keep the Commission updated on progress. We fully agree with key stakeholders such as The European Consumer Organisation and the European Alcohol Policy Alliance that any attempt by any sector to dismantle or even dilute the fundamentals of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 that govern legal, meaningful, fair and satisfactory information to consumers will not be acceptable.”

The Brewers of Europe had already presented the beer commitment to Commissioner Andriukaitis on 28 February, with the Commissioner stating: “I appreciate the rigour and ambition with which The Brewers of Europe and the beer sector have been committed to providing information to consumers. I can only encourage the brewers to continue the good work and to keep me informed on progress.” The Commissioner stated this week that the Commission would carefully analyse both the joint proposal and the individual sector annexes before taking a decision on whether the alcoholic drinks sectors had replied satisfactorily to the Commission’s request to “respond to consumers’ expectations and present within a year of adoption of this report a self-regulatory proposal that would cover the entire sector of alcoholic beverages”.

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Note to editors: Launched in the European Parliament in 2012, the European Beer Pledge is a voluntary initiative by brewers across Europe to support EU Member States under the European Union’s Alcohol and Health Forum. The Brewers of Europe, a founding member of the Forum, committed Europe’s brewers to taking concerted and measurable action under three areas of activity, with the first pillar being to increase consumer knowledge of beer and its responsible consumption. In March 2015, The Brewers of Europe announced in Brussels a major voluntary move from brewers across Europe to list ingredients and nutrition information, in line with the legal requirements for all non-alcoholic drinks, including non-alcoholic beer. Read more here.

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org and www.beerwisdom.eu. Join the conversation on Twitter @brewersofeurope using hashtags #BeerWisdom and #RightToKnow

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=958 The Brewers of Europe welcomes industry-wide agreement on consumer information 2018-03-12T00:00:00+01:00 Beer sector to continue to lead the way on ingredients listing and nutrition information

Brussels 12 March 2018. The Brewers of Europe today endorsed a joint framework with other alcoholic beverage sectors to voluntarily list ingredients and nutrition information and, through the Beer Annex to the framework, reiterated brewers’ long-standing commitment to transparency in this area, just as the European Commission, Parliament, Health Council, civil society groups and, most importantly, consumers expect.

In 2015, The Brewers of Europe committed to voluntarily listing ingredients and nutrition information, in full conformity with EU legislation, with the European Commission, other policymakers and consumer and public health NGOs welcoming the commitment.

A 2016 survey by GfK of over 9000 adults across 9 countries revealed that 86% of Europeans believe alcoholic beverages should list ingredients just like other drinks, and show nutrition information per 100ml, the legal reference volume set for alcoholic beverages and already used by consumers for comparing all other drinks. Whilst two thirds of Europeans would use differing online sources to access ingredients and nutrition information for alcoholic beverages, 70% still said they would use the label as a key source of information.

“The Brewers of Europe agreed with the key conclusions of the European Commission’s March 2017 alcohol labelling report, that there were no objective grounds that would justify the absence of ingredients and nutrition information for alcoholic beverages or a differentiated treatment for some alcoholic beverages”, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe.

Today over 70% of beers in the EU list ingredients on the label, whilst an estimated 40% of the beers are already labelling calories, in full conformity with the EU laws and complemented by information on digital platforms, often including the full nutrition declaration.

Responding now to these latest implementation figures and the reaffirmation of The Brewers of Europe’s commitment as the means by which brewers would be implementing the new joint framework, EU Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Andriukaitis stated: “I appreciate the rigour and ambition with which The Brewers of Europe and the beer sector have been committed to providing information to consumers. I can only encourage the brewers to continue the good work and to keep me informed on progress.”

The brewing sector believes there is no justification for a consumer receiving comparable information on the ingredients list or energy content of a non-alcoholic beverage, but then having no access to the equivalent information for an alcoholic beverage above 1.2% ABV.

“We welcome today’s step forward by the other alcoholic beverage sectors to join the Brewers in a common framework agreement to list ingredients and nutrition information. Europe’s brewing sector has played an instrumental role in pushing for a self-regulatory framework that removes the anomaly of the general exemption for alcoholic beverages from the obligation to list ingredients and energy values”, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe. “I am pleased to see that the other alcoholic beverage sectors are now going to be joining the brewers on this journey. In full transparency we now expect our actions to be monitored and to all be judged on implementation”.

- END -

Note to editors:

The joint framework with other alcoholic beverage sectors can be downloaded here.

The joint framework press release with other alcoholic beverage sectors can be downloaded here.

The Beer Annex to the framework can be downloaded here.

Launched in the European Parliament in 2012, the European Beer Pledge is a voluntary initiative by brewers across Europe to support EU Member States under the European Union’s Alcohol and Health Forum. The Brewers of Europe, a founding member of the Forum, committed Europe’s brewers to taking concerted and measurable action under three areas of activity, with the first pillar being to increase consumer knowledge of beer and its responsible consumption. In March 2015, The Brewers of Europe announced in Brussels a major voluntary move from brewers across Europe to list ingredients and nutrition information, in line with the legal requirements for all non-alcoholic drinks, including non-alcoholic beer. Read more here.

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our websites www.brewersofeurope.org and www.beerwisdom.eu.

Join the conversation on Twitter @brewersofeurope using hashtags #BeerWisdom and #RightToKnow

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=945 The Brewers of Europe launches “BrewUp”, a 2.0 knowledge portal for Europe’s brewers 2017-12-01T00:00:00+01:00 Friday, 1 December 2017 – Today, The Brewers of Europe released BrewUp, a knowledge portal for Europe’s brewers. BrewUp provides information on how to brew, market and advocate for beer. BrewUp has been developed in order to meet the expectations of brewers of all kinds, large and small, from newcomers to experienced operators.

BrewUp contains information that can be accessed by anyone as well as information that is only available to the breweries that belong to The Brewers of Europe’s national member associations.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said: “We are proud to have developed this new platform for members and brewers across Europe with the aim to assist them in their day-to-day business. We are looking forward to users’ feedback so that we can further populate and improve this unique resource with the support of our national associations”.

BrewUp is available on www.brewup.eu and on The Brewers of Europe’s website (www.brewersofeurope.org)

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=944 Beer serves Europe and the rest of the world: EU sector’s renaissance continues 2017-11-30T00:00:00+01:00 Brussels 30 November 2017. With EU beer production rising above 40 billion litres for the first time since the economic crisis, The Brewers of Europe confirm that the growth trend continues for the EU beer sector at the 7th Beer Serves Europe event.

A successful mix of world-leading multinationals, deeply-rooted regional breweries, and thriving SMEs, Europe’s breweries support the delivery of Europe’s 2020 Growth Strategy and contribute significantly to trade with the rest of the world.

Addressing the Annual General Assembly of The Brewers of Europe following Beer Serves Europe VII, Vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen commented on the competitiveness, innovation and investment in the European Brewing sector and its contribution to job creation and trade.

Just the number of jobs created by beer in Europe – 2.3 million jobs at the last time of counting – is a testament to how beer can help create growth and prosperity in Europe as a whole”, said Pavlos Photiades, President of The Brewers of Europe.

Dimiter Tzantchev, Bulgarian Ambassador to the EU said “European brewers are a valuable stakeholder in the promotion of high technological, environmental, social and health standards in society". He also highlighted the brewers’ commitments to marketing self-regulation, public awareness campaigns against drink-driving and the provision of consumer information. 

1:  The number of micro-breweries in Europe has tripled since 2010

Small business has always been big in brewing, but today more and more start-ups are combining local traditions with innovation.

  • 20 micro-breweries open every week in Europe.
  • There are now 8,500 breweries across the EU. 1,000 were launched in the past year alone.

2: Brewing is undergoing a renaissance in Europe

EU beer production is back above 40 billion litres for the first time since the economic crisis, with three years of consecutive growth.

  • Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom are the largest producers of beer in the EU.
  • Supportive policies enable brewers to continue contributing to the overall competitiveness of the European economy and sustained growth.

3: EU brewing sector has a global presence

EU beer brands are extremely popular and fast-selling across the globe. Out of the top ten agri-food export sectors, beer is one of Europe’s fastest growing in trade value terms.

  • 8.6 billion litres of beer brewed within the EU is exported abroad.
  • Exports represent one fifth of EU beer production, one third of which leaves the EU.
  • The top three countries for Europe’s brewers are the US, China and Canada, but over the past twenty years Europe’s brewers have extended beer trade to 123 countries around the world.
  • Beer exports were particularly important from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in 2016.

4: Beers serves Europe well, let’s treat it fairly

With thousands of years of prestige and a bubbly future in innovation and diversity, beer is a vital European business. Europe’s brewers call for a sustainable tax regime that recognises beer's positive impact throughout the value chain, from grain to glass.

  • Beer adds €50bn, annually to EU output and over €42bn in tax revenues for governments.

Notes to editors: The 2017 edition of Beer Statistics was compiled from data collated by national brewers’ associations through surveys carried out by The Brewers of Europe and Eurostat.

Historical analysis is supported by information in The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy, a report commissioned by The Brewers of Europe and conducted by Europe Economics, released in February 2016.

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810, jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 8,500 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=942 The Brewers of Europe to monitor the implementation of minimum unit pricing in Scotland 2017-11-15T00:00:00+01:00 Brussels, 15 November 2017. The Brewers of Europe takes note of the UK Supreme Court ruling on minimum unit pricing and is keen to see a robust assessment of its impact on health harms in Scotland.
 
Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said:
 
“Whilst taking note of the judgment by the UK Supreme Court today, we will monitor the implementation and evaluation of the Scottish legislation and the extent to which the resulting market distortions would ultimately be justified by the introduction of minimum unit pricing, a measure introduced on the presumption that it would effectively reduce alcohol-related harm.
 
The UK Supreme Court decision will certainly not discourage the brewing sector from pursuing its efforts, with many other stakeholders across Europe, to promote responsible beer consumption and address harms through focused, multi-stakeholder approaches looking at all the drivers of the behaviour of the minority of consumers that misuse alcohol.”

-END-

 

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 7,500+ breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=941 The Brewers of Europe ahead of target in fulfilling landmark voluntary commitment to meet consumer demand for comparable information 2017-09-28T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 28 September 2017. The Brewers of Europe are successfully implementing their voluntary commitment to list ingredients and provide comparable nutrition information, calling on other sectors to follow their lead in view of the alcohol industry proposal due in March next year.

In March 2015, The Brewers of Europe announced a major voluntary move from brewers across Europe to list ingredients and nutrition information on their brands per 100ml, in line with the legal requirements for all non-alcoholic drinks, including non-alcoholic beer. This landmark commitment builds on the European Beer Pledge, a voluntary initiative by brewers across Europe to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm.

The latest progress was announced today by Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, at a Eurocare event hosted by MEP Jytte Guteland in the European Parliament. Bergeron said, “with regards to ingredients, we are ahead of our target and now estimate that over 70% of pre-packed beer in the EU is labelling its ingredients”. He added, “around a third of pre-packed beer now labels calories”.

At EU level alcoholic beverages are part of the Food Information Regulation, covered by the rules in relation to font sizes and labelling items such as alcohol content and allergens. However, there are exemptions with regard to ingredients listing and nutrition declarations when it comes to alcoholic beverages over 1.2% ABV.

Speaking to a packed room, the EU’s Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, repeated the main conclusion from the Commission’s 2015 report on alcohol labelling that the Commission has not identified objective grounds that would justify the absence of information on ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages or a differentiated treatment for some alcoholic beverages” and stated that now is the time to find solutions not just continue discussions.

‘’People have a right to know what is really in the products they buy. The EU legal framework must ensure that consumers can make truly informed and easily comparable choices for all alcoholic beverages, just as they can for other products. Therefore, we should close the current loophole in the Food Information to Consumers regulation so that the nutrition content in all alcoholic beverages is provided per 100ml” said MEP Jytte Guteland, who hosted today’s event.

In March 2017, the European Commission gave alcohol producers until March 2018 to deliver a self-regulatory proposal that would respond to consumers’ expectations and cover the entire sector of alcoholic beverages. The Brewers of Europe will continue to work with other sectors following the Commission’s call to develop a voluntary solution. We encourage other sectors to follow our lead whilst simultaneously continuing to deliver against our own commitment, as it is clear that consumers can only be empowered to take informed decisions on how different foods and beverages fit within their diet and lifestyle if there is a level playing field of comparable information.

-END-

 

Contact: Jan de Grave, Communications Director, +32 (0)2 551 1810 or jdg@brewersofeurope.org

About us: Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 7,500+ breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=938 Europe’s brewers in Finland: beer serves Europe well. Let’s treat it fairly 2017-06-13T00:00:00+02:00 Brussels, 9 June 2017 – Representatives of the brewing sector from across Europe are in Helsinki today for the General Assembly of The Brewers of Europe. Top of the agenda: how to sustain the boom of recent years so beer can continue to serve Europe well.

Beer is a vital European business, generating 2.3 million jobs from grain to glass, €50 billion in value-added and contributing €42 billion to government revenues. It is also a growth business as appreciation for beer is on the increase within the EU and beyond. More than 3,000 new breweries have been established in Europe so far this decade. In particular, the number of small breweries is rising, and so is the diversity of beers. Policy must encourage, not undermine this dynamic sector and preserve a uniquely European tradition of hospitality.

“One job in a brewery indirectly creates 17 new jobs, but most of those are in the bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants that serve beer,” explained Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary-General of The Brewers of Europe. “Taxation systems recognising beer’s unique role are helping the whole value chain to build upon the early stages of economic recovery, to the benefit of the European economy as a whole.”

Let’s use the right tools to foster responsible consumption

“We actively support initiatives that are effective in promoting responsible beer consumption. But experience has shown that restrictive control policies simplistically aimed at reducing per capita consumption miss the target problem, producing mixed results and unintended consequences from both an economic and public health perspective,” continued Pierre-Olivier Bergeron. “In some cases, those who are inconvenienced tend to be moderate drinkers for whom beer or other drinks may be part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle, while the determined alcohol drinker will always find a way."

Also, though at 3.5%, Finland enjoys one of the lowest rates for underage beer drinking, having seen a drop of 53% from 2008-20161, just better than the EU average of 47%, there is more to be done. The “Danish model” offers a promising basis for emulation. Bryggeriforeningen, the Danish Brewers’ Association, spearheaded the establishment of an “Alcohol Partnership” supported by the Danish Ministry of Health as a contribution to reducing harmful alcohol consumption and to postponing when young people start to drink. Their 2015-2016 campaign successfully reduced the percentage of minors who buy alcohol illegally in stores. These achievements need to be replicated, not undermined.

– ENDS –

About the Brewers of Europe

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 7500+ breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

Contact details

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, The Brewers of Europe
+32 (0)2 551 1810; jdg@brewersofeurope.org

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=937 Opinion piece: Meeting consumer demands is a must, not just a nice-to-have 2017-05-15T00:00:00+02:00 When almost nine out of ten European consumers call for the list of ingredients and nutritional values of alcoholic drinks to be provided, as revealed by the 2016 GfK survey of 9000 adults in nine EU countries, there is an onus on all concerned economic operators to take such clear expectations seriously and to meet them diligently.

This is why since 2015 Europe’s brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and nutrition information across Europe, following the rules that apply to non-alcoholic drinks. Today I can proudly confirm that by the end of this year, over 60 per cent of new beer volumes hitting shelves across Europe will carry this information, on labels and also via online platforms, meeting the needs of today’s consumers.

In this context, The Brewers of Europe welcomes the European Commission’s 13 March 2017 report- that recognises the leading role taken by the brewing sector - and the clear statement that there is no objective justification for the absence of ingredients and nutrition information on alcoholic beverages or a differentiated treatment for some alcoholic beverages.

It is a common feature of human nature that boldness encounters objections and standing out from the crowd exposes you to criticism. The Brewers of Europe has been challenged on the accuracy of respecting EU law (!), in particular about our use of the legally established reference measure of 100 ml for providing nutrition values. This has been applied to all beverages across Europe for decades and is very well understood by consumers as a means of comparing drinks on a like-for-like basis. To note that portion information can also be provided in addition. Critics also argue that smaller operators will be disadvantaged due to the extra analysis costs involved, despite assurances that average values are permitted and the fact that modern technologies can overcome many hindrances at a reasonable cost if any.

But boldness pays.

We are now encouraged to sit down together with other sectors following Commission’s call to develop a voluntary solution that applies to all alcoholic beverages. We are encouraging fellow colleagues to follow our lead as it is clear that consumers can only be empowered to take informed decisions on how different foods and beverages fit within their diet and lifestyle if there is a legal and level playing field of comparable information.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron is the Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, which brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 7,500+ breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=936 EU RULES ON LISTING INGREDIENTS AND NUTRITION INFORMATION SHOULD APPLY TO ALL ALCOHOLIC DRINKS 2017-03-13T00:00:00+01:00 Brussels, 13 March 2017 - The Brewers of Europe welcomes the European Commission’s call today for alcoholic drinks to list ingredients and nutrition information, matching the requirement for non-alcoholic beverages that came into force in December 2016. EU rules oblige producers of beverages below 1.2% ABV to list ingredients and provide the seven nutritional values per 100ml. The EU Regulation also requires companies voluntarily providing ingredients and calorie information for alcoholic beverages above 1.2% ABV to do so per 100ml.

EU rules on listing ingredients and nutrition information should apply to all acoholic drinks

“The 100ml reference is laid down in the Regulation for all beverages, non-alcoholic and alcoholic, and widely understood by consumers across the EU as the robust standard for comparing the nutritional contents of different drinks. When there are anyway no standard portions for any alcoholic beverage across the EU, a solely portion-based scheme can never replace the 100ml reference,” stressed Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe. “EU law in any case allows companies to add relevant portion size references, provided they are not misleading and are included alongside the 100ml reference.” 

Following a public commitment made by The Brewers of Europe in March 2015, Europe’s brewers have been voluntarily rolling out ingredients listing and nutrition information across Europe, following the rules that apply to non-alcoholic drinks. We expect that by the end of 2017, over 60% of new beer volumes hitting the shelves across Europe will carry this information, on labels and also via online platforms, meeting the expectations and needs of today’s consumers.

We also encourage other sectors to follow our lead in providing both ingredients and nutrition values according to the rules, as it is clear that consumers can only be empowered to take informed decisions on how different foods and beverages fit within their diet and lifestyle if there is a level playing field of comparable information.

The Commission states that it will report back in one year on how alcoholic drinks producers are progressing with the voluntary roll-out of ingredients and nutrition information. This roll-out must be done against the rules as laid down in the EU Regulation. The Brewers of Europe is confident that the head start that we have given ourselves in doing this will stand us in good stead in this timeframe. 

– ENDS –

             

About The Brewers of Europe

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 7,500+ breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe.

Contact details

Jan de Grave, Communications Director, The Brewers of Europe
+32 (0)2 551 1810; jdg@brewersofeurope.org

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http://www.brewersofeurope.eu/dev2/site/media-centre/post.php?doc_id=925 Passing of Alberto da Ponte, President of The Brewers of Europe 2008-2012 2017-01-23T00:00:00+01:00 It is with great sadness that The Brewers of Europe has to today announce the passing of our former President Alberto da Ponte, who died this Saturday aged 64 years. Alberto not only served as President but was a lifelong friend and supporter of Europe’s brewing community, also after he left the beer sector in 2012.

Mr. da Ponte, CEO of Central de Cervejas in Portugal from 2004 to 2012, was elected President of The Brewers of Europe in May 2008, with his first official duty being to open, in Brussels that same evening, the 50th anniversary gala reception of The Brewers of Europe, sharing a memorable toast with the EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, a Portuguese and a German showing in one ‘sip’ the diversity of Europe’s beer cultures and beer’s gift to bring people together.

Whilst in particular Mr da Ponte’s first mandate (2008-2010) coincided with a very difficult period for Europe’s brewing sector, as the economic crisis bit and Europe’s beer market declined, his leadership was essential in uniting the thousands of brewers around a clear strategic vision and mission for The Brewers of Europe, with the association’s membership also expanding to bring in new countries.

An important feature of the two mandates of Mr da Ponte was the growing focus on the importance of communicating and enhancing beer’s reputation towards a wider range of stakeholders. It is in no small measure thanks to Mr da Ponte’s hands-on support that the annual Beer Serves Europe event, after welcoming President of the European Council at its first edition in 2011, also welcomed the President of the European Commission the following year, to celebrate the contribution of beer and brewers to the EU’s own priorities.

Ensuring The Brewers of Europe be sustainably structured was one of Mr da Ponte’s priorities over the four years he served and, having raised the profile of both beer and the association, Mr da Ponte was able to leave the association in rude health in 2012 to capitalise on the first shoots of recovery in the beer market. As the General Assembly of The Brewers of Europe recorded in November 2012, the legacy Mr da Ponte was leaving behind was extensive, with organisation, communication, enthusiasm and dedication featuring throughout.

Alberto leaves behind a loving wife, whom we also came to know well. We share our condolences not just with the European and Portuguese beer community, but also with Fátima. It is with a heavy heart that we mourn Alberto’s death but will also have many beautiful memories to cherish of a hard-working, dedicated, thoughtful and great friend. It has rarely been more appropriate to raise a glass of beer in tribute. Rest in Peace Alberto.

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