The Independent Brewers Association has gained bipartisan support from the New South Wales State government.
The Berejiklian Coalition government on Monday pledged its support to the IBA, saying that it would ensure that the broader NSW Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy includes the craft brewing industry.
“Within that, we want to have a subset now that helps to grow the independent brewing industry throughout the state, whether it’s in business development, whether it’s in attracting talent, and training the right people for the skills that are needed for the sector,” NSW Minister for Primary Industries and Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said.
“This is basically signing up the government to work with industry to come out with a specific strategy that’s going to work for that industry to help it grow.”
The Opposition yesterday made a similar promise to the IBA, saying that if elected, the Labor government would rapidly work up a strategy for beer industry growth across the State.
Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing and for Tourism and Major Events John Graham told Brews News that his party is definitely committed to independent brewers.
“I’m really excited about it because I see it as part of a broader shift in how people are consuming food and beverages, which is to really shift to a really local focus,” Minister Graham said.
“People want to know where things are made, what’s the story behind them, they want to if possible meet the producer.
“I think this is one of the most exciting sectors driving that change in how we eat and how we drink.”
Despite there being no state-wide commitment or strategy in place, the IBA reported organic growth of 20 per cent last year. Graham said if the Government can work together as they have in other sectors like the wine industry, the industry has a bright future.
“I’d really see it as backing and accelerating the existing growth and really seeing how high we can take this,” Minister Graham said.
IBA Board Director Jamie Cook said that the IBA is both delighted and encouraged that both the NSW Government and the NSW Opposition have committed to working with the IBA to develop an Independent Brewing Strategy post the March election.
“It is a recognition of the benefit that the continued growth of independent brewers are having on the state economy and the potential opportunities that could be generated through the future NSW Government working closely with the industry,” Cook said.
He told Brews News that he is proud of the IBA team and its advocacy efforts.
The 2019 New South Wales state election will be held on Saturday, March 23.