Beer drinkers sign up to fight globalisation

27 August, 2008
Page 6 
Ahead of national governments, beer consumer groups from 13 countries have taken the initiative to sign up to a constitution to fight the threats posed by globalisation in the beer sector.

The initiative comes as InBev, already the world's largest brewer, gears up to mount a massive takeover of the US brewing giant, Anheuser-Busch, which would give the new company a

25 per cent share of the world beer market.

The main objective of the 18 -year-old European Beer Consumers' Union , which claims to represent some 130,000 beer drinkers across Europe, is to promote the image and culture of beer, traditional beer styles, and to encourage diversity and choice for the consumer.

The EBCU states its priorities are: competition and choice in the European market; taxation and empowering the consumer.

EBCU president Terry Lock told Drinks International: "It is essential that Europe's beer drinkers come together to fight the threats posed by globalisation in the beer market.

"The member organisations of EBCU have shown that beer drinkers can reach agreement to enable the consumer's voice to be heard in the corridors of Brussels and Strasbourg.

"Perhaps a pint or two of quality craft-produced beer could aid national governments to come to a similar accord," he said.

Beer consumer organisations from the following countries are EBCU members: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.