The IBA Launches A Code Of Conduct

The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) has today unveiled its new Code of Conduct. It is a significant outcome from a process that began following allegations of sexual assault, harassment and discrimination in the beer world both here and overseas.

The code sets out obligations for IBA members, their employees, the IBA team and volunteers, and covers compliance with the law, respect for individuals and groups, responsibilities at venues and events and responsible alcohol marketing. 

In the media release announcing the Code of Conduct, the IBA say they will be developing a toolkit of resources for members to ensure they have the right policies and procedures in place so they can adhere to the code. They have also issued poster for members to display in their businesses and venues highlighting key aspects of the code, including calls for businesses to:

  • Promote Goodwill
  • Act Responsibly
  • Be Inclusive
  • Treat Everyone With Respect

Richard Adamson, IBA board director and People Project Group Lead, said in the statement: "The Code is a key step towards a more sustainable future and a benchmark for ethical behaviour within the independent brewing industry."

The Crafty Pint wrote about the development of a Code of Conduct and the launch of a new group, Beer Agents For Change, which was created by a group of females working in various parts of the beer industry, in July. The new group has been working with the IBA to developing policies and guidelines to create a safer and more welcoming beer community for all.

In the article, Richard told The Crafty Pint that members would have a chance to review the Code, and resign from the association if they felt they couldn’t meet it. Today, the IBA confirmed members have been through a consultation period before the adoption, adding "there was a positive response to the code. We have had no indication from any member they will be resigning their membership."

The moves to create a Code of Conduct for the brewing industry and the wider hospitality and events world followed a series of events earlier in the year.

American brewer Brienne Allan put a call out on her Instagram account for women in the beer world who had experienced sexism while working in the industry to share their stories. It became a lightning rod for people reporting incidents in the craft beer industry in America and sparked a wave of sackings and resignations.

In Australia, The Crafty Pint’s Her Story and Our Story articles documented one female’s rape at the hand of a brewer and looked at the wider issues raised – and how they can be addressed.


Independent Brewers Association Adopts Code of Conduct

In response to issues highlighted both in Australia and overseas in recent times, especially around sexual assault and gender-based discrimination, the Independent Brewers Association has committed to a new Code of Conduct as it commits to being part of the solution.

"After consultation, drafting and feedback, the People Project team are happy to see the adoption of a Code of Conduct for IBA Members. The Code is a key step towards a more sustainable future and a benchmark for ethical behaviour within the independent brewing industry." said Richard Adamson, IBA Board Director and People Project Group Lead.

The Code sets out obligations for member businesses and employees, the IBA team and any volunteers working with the IBA. It contains four key areas that cover compliance with the law, respect for individuals and groups, responsibilities at venues and events and responsible alcohol marketing. 

It also includes a pledge which states:

  1. We will behave in a professional manner and will uphold the reputation of the independent brewing industry and the other organisations with which we interact.
  2. We will seek to comply with applicable federal, state and local laws and in all cases will not wilfully violate the law.
  3. We will respect the human dignity of all individuals and groups we interact with, regardless of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, disability, size or appearance, religion, or nationality. 
  4. We will promote goodwill and cooperation within the industry.
  5. We will respect the confidentiality of sensitive information about IBA members, such as information shared at the annual members meeting.
  6. We will act at all times in accordance with ethical standards and in the best interest of the independent brewing industry.

“We have a responsibility to the community to demonstrate leadership in this space and by adopting this Code we are making a clear statement of the standards we expect to see.” Said IBA Chairman, Peter Philip.

In addition to the Code, the IBA will be developing a toolkit of resources for our members to ensure that they have all the right policies and procedures in place to be able to adhere to the Code.

See below for the full IBA Code of Conduct. 


Member Code of Conduct

The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) is a not-for-profit association committed to educating and influencing for the benefit of Australian independent brewing. To advance this mission, IBA Members and their representatives must act with honesty and integrity, conduct themselves professionally, and embrace all people. 

Accordingly, the IBA requires all members to conduct themselves in accordance with this Code of Conduct. Failure to adhere to this Code of Conduct may result in censure, suspension of membership or expulsion from the IBA in accordance with the IBA Constitution. This Code constitutes a By-Law under the IBA Constitution. 

This Code outlines the obligations of Members, and applies to individual officers, directors, shareholders, partners, employees, and other representatives of the Member. The Code also applies to individual employees of the IBA and to volunteers serving on committees and subcommittees who are not associated with a member company. 

Compliance with Law 

Brewing and the sale of alcohol is a heavily regulated industry. Members must take all reasonable steps to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the operation of their business and personal conduct within the industry. The operation of brewing is an industrial process and the management of risk to the health and safety to everyone in the workplace is a legal responsibility governed by state laws. 

Members must not wilfully violate or disregard the requirements of the law. (Repeated violations may demonstrate wilfulness.)

Respect for the Individual and Groups 

The IBA is committed to a brewing industry that provides an environment that is safe, inclusive, and free from discrimination, abusive, offensive, or harassing behaviour. 

Members of the IBA must:

  1. Treat all individuals and groups respectfully regardless of their human characteristics: race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, disability, size or appearance, religion, or nationality. 
  2. Create a working environment which is free from harassment and where all members of staff are treated with inclusion, dignity, and respect.
  3. Provide an effective procedure for complaints, treat all reasonable complaints in a sensitive, fair, timely and confidential manner and guarantee protection from any victimisation or reprisals.
  4. Provide equal opportunity for all staff in regards to recruitment, training and development. 
  5. Respect other’s privacy in their personal lives.

Harassment can include behaviour such as:

  • telling insulting jokes about particular racial groups
  • sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails or text messages
  • displaying racially offensive or pornographic posters or screen savers
  • making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race
  • asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including his or her sex life.

The law also has specific provisions relating to certain types of harassment.

  • Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or consensual behaviour.
  • Harassment linked to the disability of a person or their associate is against the law.
  • Offensive behaviour based on racial hatred is against the law. Racial hatred is defined as something done in public that offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates a person or group of people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

Hospitality Venues, Festivals and Events

Members must apply the same principles of inclusion and respect to ensure that hospitality venues, festivals, and events they operate are safe and inclusive places for staff and the general public. Venues, Festivals and Events operated by Members must also make it clear that sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or any other discriminatory language or behaviour will not be accepted. To facilitate this, Members will:

  1. include patron behaviour within their house policy or plans of management, and festival and events will include a patron code of conduct to uphold 2(a) of this code. These patron policies and codes must be publicly displayed and made available onsite, online, or accompany ticketing where appropriate.
  2. have a procedure for actioning breaches of this policy up to and including removal from venue, patron banning, and referring cases of illegal harassment or sexual violence to the police.

Responsible Alcohol Marketing

The marketing of alcohol is governed by State and Federal laws, as well as a quasi-regulatory code administered by the Management Committee of the ABAC Scheme.  

The rules affecting marketing in Australia include:

  • the Australian Consumer Law;
  • State Liquor Licensing legislation and promotional guidelines;
  • Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code labelling requirements;
  • Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics;
  • Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice;
  • Commercial Radio Codes of Practice; and
  • Outdoor Media Association Code of Ethics, Alcohol Policy and Placement Policy.

Whether a signatory to the ABAC Scheme or not, members may be subject to complaints to ABAC, whose adjudication decisions are made public.

In addition to adherence to State and Federal Laws, members must comply with clause 2(a) of this Code when marketing their company or any of their products across all media platforms, job advertisements, social media posts and events. 

IBA Member Pledge of Conduct

Each Member is deemed to make the following pledge:

  1. We will behave in a professional manner and will uphold the reputation of the independent brewing industry and the other organisations with which we interact.
  2. We will seek to comply with applicable federal, state and local laws and in all cases will not wilfully violate the law.
  3. We will respect the human dignity of all individuals and groups we interact with, regardless of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, disability, size or appearance, religion, or nationality. 
  4. We will promote goodwill and cooperation within the industry.
  5. We will respect the confidentiality of sensitive information about IBA business, such as information shared at the annual members meeting.
  6. We will act at all times in accordance with ethical standards and in the best interest of the independent brewing industry.

You can download the posters here and here.

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