The United Kingdom and Ireland Licensed Trade Association, a collective group encompassing influential hospitality trade bodies, including UKHospitality, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, and Hospitality Ulster, convened in Belfast this week for a vital collaborative meeting to address the pressing challenges and opportunities affecting the sector.
This landmark assembly of renowned trade bodies took place amidst the enduring challenges faced by hospitality establishments across the UK and Ireland. These challenges include the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the escalating operational costs in light of the ongoing Ukraine crisis, mounting tax burdens, and the dwindling purchasing power of consumers.
In a joint statement, the United Kingdom and Ireland Licensed Trade Association asserted, “There is a whole range of common issues that we share and to be able to come together and discuss those challenges benefits all members of the group. Our collaborative voice is strong and it’s important that we show our collective governments just how important we are to our respective economies, regardless of our geographic location.
The statement further emphasised the industry’s resilience in the face of persistent hardships, acknowledging sustained pressures arising from increased energy costs, excessive taxation, workforce-related challenges, and various other barriers hindering business growth.
Highlighting the hospitality sector’s crucial economic contribution to each region, the statement emphasised the sector’s central role in nurturing local tourism industries. The association called for enhanced collaboration between the governments and industry representatives, advocating for a collective approach to safeguard the future of hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses.
Particularly significant in this collaborative endeavour is the imminent introduction of deposit return schemes in different jurisdictions. The United Kingdom and Ireland Licensed Trade Association stressed the importance of seamless cooperation between governments and industry bodies to ensure the compatibility of these schemes across the UK nations and the Republic of Ireland. The interconnectedness of these markets requires a unified approach to achieve this goal.
The statement elaborated, “As we’ve seen in Scotland, there’s the potential for divergence in policies, especially concerning the inclusion of glass within deposit return schemes. Our industry’s paramount requests are twofold: that we establish a uniform, interoperable scheme across the UK nations and the Republic of Ireland, and that glass containers be excluded from these schemes.”
The United Kingdom and Ireland Licensed Trade Association remains committed to fostering the prosperity and sustainability of the hospitality sector while advocating for policies that support the collective interests of the industry and its patrons.
About the United Kingdom and Ireland Licensed Trade Association:
The United Kingdom and Ireland Licensed Trade Association represents leading trade bodies from across the UK and Ireland, including UKHospitality, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, and Hospitality Ulster. These organisations work in unison to address critical industry challenges, advocate for the interests of their members, and foster the growth of the hospitality sector across the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland.