Page 1

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

Shaping the future

A REVIEW OF CAMRA’S PURPOSE, FOCUS AND STRATEGY


~ CHANGING TIMES ~

BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO CAMRA

Many

people believe that CAMRA, once described as the most successful consumer group in Europe, has done its job. But has it really? CAMRA was born in 1971 as the Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale. It had only four members for much of its first year. The 175 breweries in the United Kingdom were owned by 95 companies. Six of them produced around 80 per cent of the country’s beer and owned most of the pubs that sold it. These firms, known as the Big Six, were conspiring to ditch traditional draught beer in favour of processed and carbonated keg beer. Many of the smaller brewers were following them blindly. CAMRA’s activities over the decades that followed changed all that, including the name of our organisation, which became the Campaign for Real Ale in 1973. Today, we have more than 175,000 members. There are more than 1,500 breweries producing more than 11,000 beers. The vast majority of British pubs sell at least one real ale and in some cases a dozen or more. At the same time, the volume of real ale sold is considerably less than it was 40 years ago. Too much is served in poor condition as a result of low turnover or poor cellarmanship, problems that led to the rise of keg beer in the first place. Britain is losing 27 pubs a week as people turn to cheap supermarket alcohol at home. Pubs have lost customers as a result of government policies on taxation, on drinking and driving, on smoking, and because of spurious advice on the effects of alcohol on health. If we lose our pubs, we

2

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

shall have lost the very places that our national drink needs if it is to thrive. All of this has persuaded us to take stock of our activities to ensure that our campaigns are pitched at the right targets and based on the best tactics in the face of the unprecedented changes that have been taking place in the brewing industry and licensed trade. This is CAMRA’s Revitalisation Project, which has been set up to find new ways to breathe life into the Campaign. We are consulting all of you, the CAMRA members. The decision is in your hands.

Michael Hardman MBE CAMRA founder member and chairman of the Revitalisation Project


~ THE KEY ISSUES ~

REAL ALE, OR GOOD BEER, CIDER AND PERRY? With a few exceptions the difference between good beer and bad was simple and clear in the 1970s. The good stuff was what we now call real ale; the bad was fizzy keg beer, often produced with inferior ingredients and then processed and carbonated. Since then an explosion of new, small brewers has changed the brewing landscape. A wider range of beer styles and methods of dispense than ever before is now on offer in the British Isles. Some of these innovations are challenging issues for CAMRA, with its traditional focus on what is real ale and what isn’t. Many drinkers now think good beer is more about its quality and flavour, rather than what type of container it comes from. CAMRA broadened its focus in 1988 to cover two other traditional drinks: cider

and perry. At the time the number of outlets for real cider was falling. The situation with perry was even worse, with farm gates the only retail outlets. The best known ciders in the British Isles (then and now) are generally fizzy, filtered products produced from apple juice concentrate. Some of our members believe that it is now time for cider and perry campaigners to develop a separate and distinct organisation. The link between CAMRA and such an entity could, of course, remain strong and founded on issues of common interest, such as joint involvement in festivals. Should we now move beyond our historic focus to tackle wider issues in the brewing industry? Or should we continue to concentrate simply on good beer, cider and perry?

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

3


~ THE KEY ISSUES ~

WHO SHOULD CAMRA REPRESENT? SINCE THE MID-1980S, OUR CAMPAIGNING HAS OFTEN BEEN IN THE INTERESTS OF ALL PUB-GOERS. THE BATTLE TO KEEP PUBS OPEN IS TODAY’S EQUIVALENT OF THE ORIGINAL CAMPAIGN TO KEEP OPEN THOSE BREWERIES PRODUCING CASK ALE.

Should CAMRA now position itself to represent not just real ale and cider drinkers, but all beer drinkers or all pub-goers? We might gain a larger membership and campaigning voice. The beer and pubs sector benefits from a strong, independent campaigning body. Would it benefit more from an organisation with a wider remit: effectively a consumers’ organisation for drinkers?”

This issue is central to CAMRA’s future. As an inclusive organisation we might welcome all drinkers, even those who are only beginning to decide what they think is good beer. Could we be more welcoming to new members? We might seek to help people discover their own taste preferences. Should beer appreciation be a central part of our role in the future?

ON AND OFF-TRADE? THE OFF-TRADE TAKES A GROWING SHARE OF THE UK DRINKS MARKET. SUPERMARKETS LEAD BUT THERE IS ALSO A GROWING BAND OF SPECIALIST OFF-LICENCES AND BEER MAIL-ORDER FIRMS.

We currently champion drinking in communal settings – mainly pubs, bars and clubs. But do we now need to tackle the key social trend towards

4

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

drinking at home with family and friends? Who should CAMRA represent: all drinkers, or just those who drink socially in pubs and clubs?


~ THE BIG QUESTION ~

WHAT IS CAMRA FOR? CAMRA HAS BROADENED ITS FOCUS CONSIDERABLY OVER THE PAST 45 YEARS, PARTICULARLY IN RECENT TIMES, WHEN THERE HAVE BEEN MANY MORE ISSUES TO TACKLE BESIDES REAL ALE. THERE HAS EVEN BEEN A CHANGE TO CAMRA'S ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION TO RECOGNISE THIS BROADER ROLE AND REMIT, WHICH NOW INCLUDES CIDER, PERRY, PUBS, TAXATION AND OTHER GOVERNMENT POLICIES.

THE QUESTION NOW IS HOW BROAD AND INCLUSIVE SHOULD OUR CAMPAIGNING BE? A. Drinkers of real ale. Should we represent drinkers of real ale only? This was CAMRA’s original remit in the early 1970s. B. Drinkers of real ale, cider and perry. This would take us back to the position in 1988, supporting the production and consumption of other traditional British drinks. C. A  ll beer drinkers. Should CAMRA represent drinkers of all types of beer, on the grounds that if they drink beer they may be potential converts to real ale?

D. All beer, cider and perry drinkers. Should we represent all drinkers of traditional styles, but without dictating any particular methods of dispense or production? E. A  ll pub-goers. Should the Campaign speak for all pub-goers, because people who go to pubs help to keep the key outlets for real ale open and because pubs promote responsible drinking in a communal setting? F. All drinkers. Should CAMRA represent all people, whatever they drink, wherever they buy it and wherever they drink it?

NONE OF THE ABOVE?

Should CAMRA take some other position? And if so, what should that be? Perhaps support for good-quality beer, however defined? WE NEED AN ANSWER BEFORE WE CAN GO ANY FURTHER


~ HAVE YOUR SAY ~

THE CONSULTATION PROCESS THE REVITALISATION PROJECT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN THREE STAGES.

1. A consultation open to all CAMRA members, to be launched at the Members’ Weekend in April and running until September 2016. We want to hear from you about your vision of the future of CAMRA. There are three ways to get involved: • By attending one of up to 50 consultation events throughout the British Isles. You can find out more and sign up to attend a meeting at www.camra.org.uk/ revitalisation • By completing our initial short online survey by 30 April 2016, at www.camra.org.uk/revitalisation • By returning the consultation survey included with this paper by 30 April 2016. All you need to do is put it in an envelope marked “Freepost CAMRA” – you don’t need a stamp. Please complete either the enclosed survey or the online version but not both.

2. The development and presentation of a formal proposal for consideration by members at the Members’ Weekend in Eastbourne in 2017. 3. The implementation of whatever is decided by the end of 2018. Friendly request: CAMRA strives to maximise the use of members’ funds towards our highly successful campaigns. It will greatly assist us if you are able to complete this survey online. This will minimise our administration costs – notably removing the need to transcribe handwritten responses into an electronic format (so that we can maximise the value of your response by indexing and searching for recurring themes). Hopefully you or perhaps a family member will have internet access. Of course, we will accept handwritten or typed responses if you have no means of internet access.

In addition to consulting CAMRA members, the Project will invite wider participation from interested people in the beer and pub industries as well as politicians and opinion formers, among others.

6

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT


~ XXXXXXXXXXXXXX ~

WHY THE REVITALISATION PROJECT IS NEEDED CAMRA’S NATIONAL AND REGIONAL DIRECTORS MET IN SHEFFIELD IN MAY 2015 TO DISCUSS WHETHER MAJOR CHANGE WAS NEEDED TO KEEP THE CAMPAIGN RELEVANT.

It was agreed to set up a project to review and if necessary redefine CAMRA’s purpose and positioning. Chief executive Tim Page presented a proposed process and timescale for the review to the National Executive meeting in June. The NE appointed a steering group to oversee the project and, as the first part of the process, to consult members and other

interested parties. The review is in keeping with good governance. All good organisations review their mission and purpose from time to time. For CAMRA, it is particularly timely: any changes can be made from a position of strength and success, with us enjoying a record membership and greater influence than ever before.

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

7


~ FACTS AND FIGURES ~

DEVELOPMENTS FROM 1971 TO 2016 BREWERIES AND BEER In the 1960s and early 1970s most major brewers reduced their traditional cask ale production and instead filtered and carbonated their beer and dispensed it from kegs. The market became dominated by a few large brewing companies which, by spending millions promoting their brands and by closing down their smaller rivals, developed a complex monopoly for their keg beers. CAMRA defined real ale in 1973 as: Beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and

BEER REPRESENTED

71% 1970

OF ALL ALCOHOL CONSUMED IN THE UK IN

8

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide. Maturation is at the heart of the definition. If the beer is unfiltered, unpasteurised and still active on the yeast, it is real ale. It does not matter whether the container is a cask or a bottle. Beer represented 71 per cent of all alcohol consumed in the UK in 1970, compared with 36 per cent in 2014. Most beer was served on draught in pubs, whereas most beer today is bottled or canned. Although beer’s share of the on-trade market has declined in the past 15 years (with an increase in sales of wine and cider), cask ale has bucked the trend,

COMPARED WITH

36% 2014 OF ALL ALCOHOL CONSUMED IN THE UK IN


increasing over the past three years to account for 17 per cent of all on-trade beer and 57 per cent of all on-trade draught beer. The demand for real ale, part of a general trend towards more authentic and local products, continues to grow. In 1974 there were fewer than 200 breweries in the UK. The 2016 Good Beer Guide lists more than 1,500. CAMRA’s Brewery Information System records more than 11,000 real ales: nearly eight per brewery. Brewing in the British Isles today is characterised by innovation and dynamism. “Craft beer” is used by many to describe the products of independent brewers, as distinct from those produced industrially by global giants. Some brewers have developed a new type of keg beer which some call “craft keg”. Our Members’ Conference in 2015 accepted some new methods of dispense as legitimate means of serving real ale. The clearly defined boundaries of the 1970s have become blurred to the point where some have questioned their relevance.

PUBS Almost from the beginning, CAMRA has recognised the importance of pubs to cask ale. It is therefore alarming that the total number of pubs in the UK fell from 67,800 in 1982 to 51,900 in 2014. Twenty seven pubs a week are currently lost in the UK. As the main outlets for draught beer, pubs are central to CAMRA’s promotion of real ale. Brewers own around a fifth of all pubs. A third are owned by pub companies, known as pubcos, and just under a half are independent free houses. The introduction of a code to regulate the pubcos and an adjudicator to oversee it, with licensees of the largest pubcos being able to opt for a free-of-tie lease, may change the

IN 1974 THERE WERE FEWER THAN

200 BREWERIES IN THE UK

THE 2016 GOOD BEER GUIDE LISTS MORE THAN

1,500 CAMRA’S BREWERY INFORMATION SYSTEM RECORDS MORE THAN 11,000 REAL ALES: NEARLY EIGHT PER BREWERY

ownership of many pubs, but may lead to closures as well. Although the sale of beer is divided almost equally between the on-trade and off-trade, beer accounts for seven out of 10 drinks sold in pubs. Beer is more important to pubs than wine or spirits and pubs are facing stiff competition for fewer drinkers. On-trade alcohol consumption has fallen by 36 per cent since 2000, but off-trade sales have increased by 17 per cent in the same period. This is linked to wider social trends, such as the rise in internet-based on-demand home entertainment.

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

9


~ FACTS AND FIGURES ~

A GROWING NUMBER OF PEOPLE BETWEEN

16 AND 24 YEARS OLD ARE CHOOSING NOT TO DRINK ALCOHOL AT ALL, OR TO DRINK LESS.

BETWEEN

2009 AND 2013

3,800

AND

COFFEE SHOPS OPENED

COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PREFERENCES Economies of scale and lower overheads mean that supermarkets and off-licences can sell their beer more cheaply than pubs, bars and clubs. The price of an on-trade pint increased by 187 per cent between 1987 and 2011, but only by 52 per cent for off-sales. Competition has become increasingly aggressive with some supermarkets selling alcohol at cost price or below as a loss leader. Many publicans say these discounts have hit their trade hard. Pubs are also not benefiting from the economic recovery as much as other consumer choices, such as overseas tourism (up 11%), do-it-yourself equipment (up 18%) and recreation and

10

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

PUB

4,500 PUBS CLOSED

culture (up 16%). Discounting has also cut the cost of eating at home. A VAT anomaly benefits supermarkets, where not all food is subject to VAT, and puts pubs at a disadvantage, as they pay the full rate on all food sold. This has led to a further decline in pub-going. Three in four people believe a well-run pub is as important to community life as a post office, shop or community centre, but a growing number view going to the pub as unaffordable. In a recent YouGov poll, commissioned by CAMRA, 30 per cent agreed that a pub was the best place to socialise, but 40 per cent preferred socialising at home and 35 per cent said that pubs were too expensive. Worse, 21 per cent said their local pub had closed.


Since CAMRA was founded, and despite our success in increasing the availability and variety of real ale, the population of the British Isles has shifted from beer-drinking to more continental tastes: in particular, a growing love for wine. An increasing number of people between 16 and 24 years old are choosing not to drink alcohol at all, or to drink less. Between 2009 and 2013, 3,800 coffee shops opened and 4,500 pubs closed. If the current trend continues, the number of coffee shops could overtake pubs in ten years. Coffee shop chains are beginning to diversify by selling alcohol, posing a further threat to the traditional pub. The anti-alcohol lobby has made ever more strident claims about the dangers of alcohol to long-term health. Despite evidence that moderate consumption, in a social and regulated environment, benefits both people’s wellbeing and their communities, the drinks sector has struggled to develop an effective counter-message.

LEGISLATION The regeneration of the British brewing industry was principally a result of CAMRA’s campaigning. Legislation around brewing and pubs has had a mixed impact: some good, some not so good. We have campaigned vigorously (and with some success) when legislation has threatened to have adverse consequences for the beer drinker or pub-goer. In the 1980s, with six national brewers dominating beer and pubs the government became concerned about the lack of competition, the limited choice available and high prices. In 1989, a report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission found that the vertical integration between brewing and pub retailing, known as the tie, constituted a complex

THE PRICE OF AN ON-TRADE PINT INCREASED BY

187% BETWEEN

1987 AND 2011 BUT ONLY BY

52% FOR OFF-SALES

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

11


~ FACTS AND FIGURES ~

monopoly which was against the interests of drinkers. The report recommended loosening the tie to increase competition between brewers, wholesalers and pub retailers. The 1989 Beer Orders limited the number of pubs owned by large breweries and allowed their tenants to choose a guest ale. This led to the growth of non-brewing pub-owning companies. A sliding excise-duty scale was devised in 2002 to enable small breweries to compete with large companies enjoying significant economies of scale. This stimulated a rapid growth in the number of small breweries, predominantly serving local markets, but many mediumsized brewers were unable to benefit. Successive governments have influenced the sale of alcohol by increasing duty rates, which rose by more than 40 per cent between 2008 and 2013. Though cuts

ALTHOUGH CUTS HAVE BEEN MADE IN RECENT BUDGETS, BEER TAX IS HIGHER IN THE UK THAN IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN EUROPE EXCEPT FINLAND:

52p

ON A PINT

COMPARED WITH 14p IN FRANCE, 9p IN BELGIUM AND 4p IN SPAIN

12

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

have been made in recent budgets, beer tax is higher in the UK than in any other country in Europe except Finland: 52p on a pint, compared with 14p in France, 9p in Belgium and 4p in Spain. Pubs in England pay business rates according to their building’s rateable value – but as many pubs now have fewer customers, a review of the rating system is overdue. English legislation recognising Assets of Community Value is designed to protect pubs from closure by making it harder for pub owners to sell them off for redevelopment as houses or shops.

MEMBERSHIP, LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT Our membership has grown significantly and consistently, following a decline between 1978 and 1983. With more than 175,000 members, an annual turnover of almost £15 million and nearly 50 full-time and part-time members of staff, CAMRA has changed beyond recognition from our first two years, when the membership records were kept in a shoebox. Although it is still led by unpaid volunteers, 12 of whom form the National Executive —CAMRA’s board of directors — our organisation has increased its expertise and professionalism considerably. Many members are relatively inactive, however. They pay their membership subscription, possibly buy the Good Beer Guide and presumably drink real ale, but are not involved with their branch or local campaigning activity. A key challenge for the Campaign is to find the next generation of activists and leaders to take CAMRA in whatever direction is decided by this process. We also need to embrace the challenge to making sure all new faces are made to feel welcome in the organisation.


~ ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS ~

CAMRA’S SUCCESSES

1970s & 1980s First Great British Beer Festival

Launch of What’s Brewing newspaper

We smashed the Big Six brewers’ stranglehold

Introduction of the Licensing Act 1988, which allowed pubs in England and Wales to open from 11am to 11pm, except on Sundays

First edition of the Good Beer Guide

We provided a lifeline for quality family brewers

We lobbied against the lack of choice in Britain’s pubs and gradually eroded the regional monopolies. In 1989, the government introduced radical reforms, called the Beer Orders, forcing the largest brewers to sell or free from tie 11,000 pubs and to permit their tenants to stock guest beers

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

13


~ ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS ~

We successfully lobbied to ensure that beer duty was calculated at the brewery gate rather than at an earlier stage in the brewing process, which helped smaller independent brewers with higher wastage levels

CAMRA’S SUCCESSES

1990s

CAMRA was a founding member of the European Beer Consumers Union

We were instrumental in the introduction of all-day pub opening on Sundays in England and Wales

We successfully opposed the European Commission’s challenge to the UK’s guest beer law

We secured a new right for tenants to stock a guest bottleconditioned beer

We achieved extension of the mandatory rural rate relief to sole remaining rural pubs in England

CAMRA’S SUCCESSES

2000s 14

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

We achieved a reduction in beer duty for small brewers in 2002, and an extension in 2004

We persuaded the government to appoint a pubs minister, who produced a 12-point action plan to support community pubs


CAMRA’S SUCCESSES

We persuaded the government to scrap its Beer Duty Escalator and to make three successive cuts in beer tax

We gained government support for communities to have the right to bid for pubs up for sale

We launched the LocAle scheme, which encourages pubs to stock locally brewed real ale

We played a leading role in the Local Works coalition, set up to promote localism, which resulted in the Sustainable Communities Act

2010s We have successfully campaigned for a reduction in excise duty for lower-strength beers

We secured planning protection for pubs listed as Assets of Community Value

We achieved the reform of pub-owning companies, with increased rights for the tenants of large pubcos and an adjudicator to ensure fair play

We secured the Licensing Act 2003, which gave licensees in England and Wales more flexibility in their opening hours

THE REVITALISATION PROJECT

15


For more information and to respond to the consultation, visit www.camra.org.uk/revitalisation

CAMRA Revitalisation Project  

Consultation document

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you