Scotland’s biggest brewer has called for “parity” with a new pub code to protect tenanted outlets that is being introduced in England and Wales.
Tennent’s, the brewing outfit that makes Scotland’s eponymous top-selling lager, says currently “pubs tied into deals with particular brewers are disadvantaged as a result”.
Under the new code, which comes into force south of the Border on 26 May, pub tenants will be able to receive detailed tied rent assessments from companies owning 500 or more tied pubs.
They will also be able to request a MRO (market rent only) agreement or take their case to an independent adjudicator.
Tennent’s, owned by Irish drinks company C&C said: “However, despite Westminster’s decisive move on the issue – which has been a hot topic amongst the UK on-trade for over twenty years – the Scottish Government has yet to commit to any action, leaving Scottish pubs without a way to exert the same, or indeed any, control.”
Alan Hay, the on-trade sales director at Tennent’s, part of a coalition of industry names backing change, said: “The on-trade in Scotland has been very vocal on this issue for many, many years.
“We need parity with England and Wales, if not better. Addressing the management of tied pubs is a key step in protecting the overall health of our licensed trade, helping to stop inflated prices and uncompetitive, unfair business.”
Hay added that Holyrood “has stated that they are listening”, but Scottish pub tenants risked getting “left behind”.