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8th October 2012

James Staughton to replace Paul Wells as Family Brewers’ Chairman

Having played a key role in the Government’s decision to protect the brewery tie and traditional tenancy agreements for Family Brewers, Paul Wells is to step down as Chairman of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain.  He will be replaced by James Staughton of St Austell Brewery.

Paul comments: “After seven years in the role, I think it is an appropriate time to pass the leadership to someone else.  The Family Brewers are unique, they are fiercely independent and they are passionate about cask beer and great pubs – it’s been a rare privilege to have been in the chair for a while.  I will retain a keen interest and continue to support the Family Brewers and James going forward.”

James Staughton is the great great-grandson of St Austell Brewery founder Walter Hicks and part of the fifth generation.  He joined the company in 1980 and worked his way up on the wine side of the business becoming Wine and Spirit Director in 1990 before being appointed Managing Director in 2000.  During his time in the wine business, James was Chairman of the Independent Wine Buyers Consortium (IWBC) for seven years.

Comments James: “I would like to thank Paul for his steering of the Family Brewers during the last seven years.  Under his tenure, we have rigorously defended the tie, seen renewal of the EU Block Exemption, helped fund Jacques Borel’s campaign to reduce the VAT charged in pubs, and seen our membership grow after a previous period of decline when former members were absorbed by larger brewing concerns.

“I am honoured to have been chosen by the Executive Committee to take over as Chairman.  My vision is to continue working with all Family Brewer members to build the cask ale category while promoting our pubs and inns through the recruitment of the industry’s leading licensees.  Amongst plans for the future, the Independent Family Brewers of Britain will be playing a significant part in lobbying for the reduction of VAT on beer and food served in pubs, and on other taxation such as beer duty and company taxes.”

– Ends –

Notes to editors

The Independent Family Brewers of Britain was founded in 1993 to defend the tie and currently operates around 4,200 pubs in the UK; its members include some of the most respected brewers in Britain.  The Family Brewers represent a distinct and unique sector of the UK brewing industry; owning regional breweries and pub estates, with the majority being private, family run businesses. Spanning generations, the 29 Family Brewer members’ currently employ around 36,000 people across their breweries and pubs.


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