lower abv drinks, beer

Trade body the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has launched a quality accreditation scheme and is hoping to sign up 500 of its 820 members within two years.

The new SIBA Certificate is intended as a step towards achieving Salsa Plus Beer, a module added to the Salsa (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) food safety standard in June, in response to the boom in UK breweries.

SIBA is employing a food technologist to run its scheme, which will involve one-day audits carried out by independent inspectors. The society said it had made the scheme affordable for small brewers, with the cost to participate set at £600, which provides a certificate for two years.

“With so many brewers in the market it is important we respond to the increasing demand from retailers for an independently assessed quality management scheme that is specifically geared towards smaller independent brewing businesses,” said SIBA MD Mike Benner.

“SIBA has a strong reputation with retailers and we are confident our scheme fills a gap in the marketplace and provides members with an important first step towards the widely recognised Salsa standard. The new scheme provides an important new practical benefit to SIBA membership and we are pleased to be offering it at a price that makes it affordable to even the smallest brewer.”

Salsa was introduced in 2007 to offer “a robust and effective food safety certification scheme” that was designed to be more appropriate for smaller food producers and processors than the BRC Global Standard. Run by the NFU, Food and Drink Federation, British Hospitality Association and British Retail Consortium, Salsa created its Beer Module in response to the number of British breweries growing from about 500 15 years ago to more than 1,400 today, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.