Our strapline “Union is Strength” is just as relevant in today’s changing economic and political landscape. One of our main objectives is “to maintain the vital link between the many and varied trades and services supplying the brewing, food and beverage industries.” The traditional way to do achieve this is through networking events, lunches, dinners etc. Networking events are one of our KPIs and are of great value to our members, but we must ensure that they match our industry’s rapidly changing culture. It has been brought to my attention that the association can appear to our younger colleagues as simply a gentlemen’s club/professional lobbying body when in fact it can be so much more. Never has this been as evident as now. The networking lunches and dinners we organise may be becoming less relevant to younger colleagues so it should be our aim to change that. With the current spotlight quite rightly on sexism, equality and diversity in the workplace and with such easy (and instant!) access to social media we must be more mindful than ever of how the association is portrayed. This may mean, for example, that traditional BFBi guest speakers are no longer acceptable and we must modernise as we continue into our second century. To change the workings of a trade association as old as BFBi takes time and, more importantly, engagement from the membership and industry. We must ask ourselves - How can we positively change an association steeped in tradition but remain relevant? How can we ensure that communications and events are pertinent and in line with current thinking? I believe that at no point would any BFBi section committee or member representative knowingly create a situation where sexism, racism, inequality was celebrated or used for cheap laughs. However, having seen some recent posts on social media, this is what BFBi appears to have done/be doing. We must ensure these situations do not continue and, in order for this to happen, I need engagement from those that wish change to happen. I ask that you engage with me, to change what we do and how we do it so that we continue our relevance and retain the strength of our industry. I also ask that we be able to do, as per our mantra ‘professionalism, dignity and respect’. Every custodian wishes to leave their charge in a better place than when they found it. As the current custodian of BFBi, my wish is to put the association on a path fit for future economic and political challenges, without gender, race or age bias. Please join me and #engage to change. Contact me NOW on ruth.evans@bfbi.org.uk Ruth Evans MBE, BFBi C.E.O. 6 BREWING & BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES BUSINESS Representing the entire value chain supplying the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Brewers & Distillers - the BFBi is open to you too! - See Page 66 for more information The BFBi was set up in 1907 as the Allied Brewery Traders’ Association and was established on the back of successful lobbying activity which stopped the closure of 30,000 pubs. Following this, the brewing industry realised it was stronger working together and that strength of a supply chain working together has seen us through many challenges. For a full calendar of BFBi events visit: www.bfbi.org.uk/industry-events/consolidated-programme-of-events Engage to Change Word from the BFBi RUTH EVANS MBE 6_Layout 1 15/05/2018 12:34 Page 1