12th May 2008
The Fair Pint campaign is being launched in the Houses of Parliament tomorrow. The campaign is highlighting the plight of UK landlords and consumers who suffer as a result of ‘tied lease agreements’ to pub companies (pubcos).
About 24,000 British pubs (37%) are owned by pubcos. Tied landlords have no choice but to buy their beer, as well as some other supplies, from the pubco, even though they can buy the same beer cheaper elsewhere. It is time for the consumer to know why beer is more expensive in a tied pub and to support a Fair Pint.
The dominance of the large ‘pubcos’ over the pub market has resulted in an unfair and uncompetitive arrangement for ‘tied’ pub landlords and consumers alike. Pubs are currently closing at a rate of 27 pubs per week, and in 2006-07 bankruptcies amongst pub landlords increased seven-fold.
Tied pub landlords also have to rent their pub and home from their pubco, with rents which are profit related. Upward only rent reviews and beer that has to be bought at inflated prices from the pubco places enormous pressure on many tied landlords who struggle to make a living. Huge numbers of landlords are simply being forced out of the market and few consumers understand why they are paying more for their pint.
Speaking ahead of the Parliamentary launch of the campaign, Brian Jacobs, a member of the steering group, said:
”We have been heartened by the level of support we have received from publicans around the country, Parliamentarians and trade bodies. Even though we are only at the beginning of our campaign – we are confident that fairness, and a need for a level playing field, will win through in the end. It is time for the pubco model to be reviewed to reflect what is really going on in 2008. It is clear that so many tied publicans are struggling, not just because of the smoking ban, beer duty or cut price booze in supermarkets, but because they are tied.”
1. The Parliamentary launch of A Fair Pint? campaign will take place in the Houses of Parliament on 13th May, between 9.30am and 10.30am in Room W1, Westminster Hall, followed by a photo opportunity at 10.30am on College Green.
2. Representatives of the Fair Pint Campaign, and publicans from across the country, will be on hand at the launch to provide further information about the campaign.
3. To arrange interviews or for further information, please contact Hugo Legh or Sarah Hyder at Connect Public Affairs on 020 7222 3533 or firstname.lastname@example.org