7: Environmental, employment & rural issues
While we continue to support the Government’s overall aims in the Kyoto context, increases in energy prices caused by the Climate Change levy (CCL) still apply year-on year, as do the passed-on costs - for example, in glass and packaging. The original intention that this should be a revenue neutral charge has not materialised in our sector. The introduction of CCL has increased spirits industry costs by £1 million a year in spite of the rebate and allowances. There are two Climate Change Systems in the UK that are totally different in their approach and on different timescales, has doubled the compliance work required. All or part of the industry has experienced (or is about to) additional compliance costs from a number of regulations linked to sustainability and the environment. For example, companies report increases of 12-15% due in waste and water regulations. Recent examples of regulations causing increases on compliance costs include:
- Climate Change Levy introduced April 2001
- Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) regime introduced in March 2004.
- Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.
- Water Act 2003. The EU Water Framework Directive and changed Water abstraction licensing system
- EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
- EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives 1994 and 2004 and UK Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 and Packaging (Essential Requirements) regulations 1998 (Only UK and France have enforced the Essential Requirements of the EU Packaging Directive (94/62/EC))
- Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 1991 (UK Law 1994)
- EU Waste Framework Directive (amended in 1991) & UK Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994
- EU Landfill Directive and UK landfill tax introduced in October 1996 (for recycled still waste and botanicals).
Contribution to the Economy & Employment.
The gin and vodka sector is a major employer with 2000 direct jobs and 8000 employed indirectly. The spirits industry as a whole generates employment – direct and indirect – for over 60,000 people. The sector has an important impact on the UK economy, particularly in Scotland. Over £50m is spent each year in UK in wages, raw materials, bottling and packaging, plant and machinery, transport and distribution, and energy.
Contribution to the Rural Economy & Employment.
Over £12m was spent by the sector on UK wheat and barley of which some £8m was in Scotland. Approx. 160,000 tonnes of UK wheat and barley are sold to the non-whisky trade – which in turn means that thousands of acres of UK arable land are connected to the gin and vodka trade.