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The IBA sets benchmark on member behaviour

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 (IBA) has committed to a new Code of Conduct as it resolves 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,” IBA board director and People Project Group lead Richard Adamson said. “The Code is a key step towards a more sustainable future and a benchmark for ethical behaviour within the independent brewing industry.”

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,” IBA chair Peter Philip said.

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

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.

  1. 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 willfulness.)

  2. 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:
    a) 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.
    b) Create a working environment which is free from harassment and where all members of staff are treated with inclusion, dignity, and respect.
    c) 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.
    d) Provide equal opportunity for all staff in regards to recruitment, training and development.
    e) 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.

  3. 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:

    a) 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.
    b) 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.

  4. 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.

  5. IBA Member Pledge of Conduct
    Each Member is deemed to make the following pledge:

    a) 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.
    b) We will seek to comply with applicable federal, state and local laws and in all cases will not wilfully violate the law.
    c) 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.
    d) We will promote goodwill and cooperation within the industry.
    e) We will respect the confidentiality of sensitive information about IBA business, such as information shared at the annual members meeting.
    f) We will act at all times in accordance with ethical standards and in the best interest of the independent brewing industry.

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