Commenting on Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) due to go live one year to the day and the release of the producer fees, Emma McClarkin, CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said:
“With just one year to go before Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme is set to start operating, there is a lot of work still to be done. Establishing producer fees is critical so producers can plan ahead and assess the impact on their businesses. Unfortunately, this will put even more financial pressure on both brewers and pubs at a very difficult time as they battle with soaring energy costs and labour shortages. The combination of a deposit and additional producer fees, themselves very significant amounts, will particularly impact products such as beer sold in smaller single-serve containers, often as part of multipacks.
“The Scottish Government have shown that they are mindful about the cost of doing business and have supported calls for a range of measures, but they need to be acutely aware that the producer fee is just one of a myriad of costs attached to a DRS. Labelling, new IT systems, staff training, security, storage, and fraud risks will all come with significant expenditures. There also remains several elements still to be finalised, such as VAT treatment and the on-line takeback model, that with just a year to go is causing significant concerns among businesses.
“We are committed to working alongside the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to deliver the best possible DRS, but without wider relief to the costs of doing business currently we risk losing many of Scotland’s brewers and pubs before DRS even starts.”
Press release from Scottish Beer & Pub Association.