Hearing on growth potential of the European beer industry
Click here for the coloured booklet version of this opinion (in English only)
European decision takers should:
· Achieve progress in building a balanced regulatory environment allowing Europe’s brewers of all sizes to brew and market beer in Europe and beyond,
· Include beer as a priority area that requires positive reciprocal treatment in free trade agreements with other EU commercial partners,
· Encourage and give higher publicity for more participation of brewing companies and associations in the social responsibility, health and education programmes implemented at EU and national level,
· Take more into account the implications of the innovation, industrial and agricultural policy developments for the brewing industry.
Member States, regional or local level should:
· continue partnership development with the brewing industry and NGOs aimed at promoting responsible consumption and reducing alcohol-related harm,
· support the brewing sector’s initiatives towards environmental sustainability across the whole supply and delivery chain at European and local level,
· use the dynamics in the brewing sector to create employment by removing obstacles to further growth by ensuring a predictable and stable tax regime and by addressing distortions in the market brought about by fluctuations of tax rates.
· further explore and develop the cooperation between local authorities in different aspects of community involvement projects and beer tourism opportunities.
Finally brewing companies should:
· Engage in more active participation in various promotion activities of food products within the EU and in third countries that are supported by Chambers of Commerce, regional authorities, Member States and the European Commission,
· Maintain efforts to make the brewing sector attractive to the younger generations as an area for stable and adequately paid employment, through the fostering of apprenticeship programmes and vocational training schemes,
· Continue to enhance their cooperation with research and education institutes, by participating more in EU innovation and R&D programmes with their partners, as well as in education and training programmes,
· Increase their participation in various activities developed through regional, structural and SME dedicated funds.
· Widen existing cooperation of a medium to long-term nature with local producers of hops, grains and other products essential for beer production.
· Encourage as wide a use as possible of life-cycle assessments in the brewing industry as a self-analysing tool, while taking into account the limitations of small family brewers due to capacity shortfalls.