Brewers Call For Government And Consumers To Support Their Local
“The Brewers Association of New Zealand is concerned by the continued lack of sector specific support for the hospitality industry. The sector has been signalling the need for assistance since the first week of the most recent lockdown and the recent hospitality sector meeting with Government Ministers where no targeted support was signalled for the hospitality sector just shows that the sector is being left to languish. The Brewing industry encourages New Zealanders in level 2 areas and Auckland for those still at level 3 to support their local venues.” Says Brewers Association Executive Director Dylan Firth
“As a country we have a great tradition for looking after our neighbours and mates. Most of New Zealand’s hospitality businesses are owned, run and worked in by those same people and we should be supporting them.” Said Firth
“Our members have been the first to acknowledge the role of industry to support business where they can. To date our members have committed to support the wider hospitality sector through renegotiation of debt, extension of credit, cash back for unused product which was spoiled over lockdown in 2020 and multi-million dollar spend in marketing encouraging consumers to support local.” Said Firth
“While we acknowledge the value of the wage subsidy and resurgence support payment, this only covers some staff costs and a fraction of what it takes to survive idle at level 3 or at significant restricted capacity at level 2, which as we now know will continue for the whole country for some time. Business owners all over New Zealand have dipped into their reserves, refinanced their houses and taken on extra debt throughout the last 24 months and many are at breaking point.” Said Firth
“The Government continues to ignore the repeated calls for targeted support for the hospitality sector while providing packages for others like tourism, aviation, media, RSE workers for agriculture, trade apprenticeships and most recently the events and arts sector to name a few. We ask, what is it about hospitality that has given pause for this government to enact targeted support.” Said Firth
“What we have seen is the rhetoric that hospitality businesses have a short lifespan and that there is a level of ‘churn’ that this government seems to believe inevitable. But in fact, there are large numbers of operators who have been in the sector for years with well established businesses that are either on the brink or have already resigned themselves to shutting the doors. It’s telling that things are serious when you see the length of time many people have had in the industry and only now are being truly challenged whether they can continue” Said Firth
“We know that across the country this level 2 is different, we have not seen the surge in economic activity for the hospitality sector that we did post the 2020 lockdowns. While GDP figures for this year are at recent record levels and there had been some positive signs in the hospitality sector quarters 1 and 2. However, this can be somewhat misleading. Electronic card spend for food and beverage services was down over a billion dollars over the last 2 years.” Said Firth
“The brewing sector is extremely sensitive to the issues hospitality businesses face with lockdowns, for us these businesses not only provide a valuable channel to market they also are huge supporters of the diverse range of products small and large breweries offer. We see the costs that flow onto their businesses through the constant communication we have as suppliers and know that some costs won’t disappear. For example, we know that with current CPI levels, 2022 is likely to see an increase in beer excise tax higher than anything in the last 20 years. At projected rates if costs are passed on to those venues with alcohol licences it would be equivalent to an average hospitality employees wage for 6.1 weeks. This kind of government led cost is just part of the unavoidable challenges the sector faces.” Said Firth
“But where the Government won’t, the rest of New Zealand can. We are urging kiwis to get out and support those hospitality businesses who are struggling at this time. Get together with your friends and whanau and enjoy a meal, a beer and the great hospitality that is on offer. Level 2 restrictions are tougher this time for businesses, with many are not seeing even 100 people in their premises over an entire day let alone at once. So, we urge kiwis to support your neighbour, friend or family member who works in the hospitality sector by getting out, getting vaccinated, masking up and being social. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean socially excluding.” Said Firth
The Brewers Association of New Zealand represents major New Zealand brewers and has a core purpose of celebrating beer, its contribution to the economy and to social wellbeing through responsible consumption.
Brewers Association members (Lion New Zealand Ltd and DB Breweries Ltd) produce approximately 80% of the beer brewed in New Zealand. The brewing industry is a major contributor to the ongoing success of the New Zealand economy – contributing $2.7 billion in beer sales in the year to March 2020. There are at least 257 commercial brewing operations throughout New Zealand and the brewing industry contributes over $634 million to GDP.