Almost 18,000 members voted online and at CAMRA’s AGM, held in Coventry on 21 April, to express their views on changes to CAMRA’s Articles of Association to re-define the 47-year-old organisation’s purpose and campaigning activities.
Members voted to remove the organisation’s current “objects” in the Articles of Association – the statement of what the Campaign exists to achieve.
In place of the old objects, members voted to approve recommendations to add in new objectives for the Campaign, designed to make the organisation more inclusive, relevant and welcoming:
- To secure the long term future of real ale, real cider and real perry by increasing their quality, availability and popularity
- To promote and protect pubs and clubs as social centres as part of the UK’s cultural heritage
- To increase recognition of the benefits of responsible, moderate social drinking
- To play a leading role in the provision of information, education and training to all those with an interest in beer, cider and perry of any type
- To ensure, where possible, that producers and retailers of beer, cider and perry act in the best interests of the customer.
However, the majority of members did not approve the recommendation to add one additional object to CAMRA’s Articles of Association:
To act as the voice and represent the interests of all pub goers and beer, cider and perry drinkers
The changes will see CAMRA put increased focus on educating members (and non-members) about different types of beer. It also sees campaigning for real cider and perry added to the objects for the first time, as well as recognising pub and club protection as a key object for the organisation.
CAMRA’s outgoing National Chairman, Colin Valentine said: “The recommendations for change that we made to the membership were based entirely on feedback received from members when we consulted with them as part of the Revitalisation Project.
“It was the largest consultation CAMRA has ever carried out and we listened to the views of over 25,000 of our members, who filled in online surveys and attended consultation meetings across the country.
“We were determined to give every single member the right to have the final say on the recommendations by voting on the changes to the Articles of Association. The membership has taken advantage of that right and made its views clear.
“We’re delighted that all but one of the Special Resolutions was approved, which shows the majority of members agreed with the consultation findings that CAMRA needs to change to remain a relevant and effective campaigning organisation.
“The hard work now starts to define new strategies to position CAMRA where our members have told us they want it to be. We appreciate that, that while the majority of members voted in favour most of the recommendations, there is some disagreement about how we deliver the required changes.
“We need to do all we can to reassure all members that our core campaigning objectives remain focussed on real ale, cider and perry as ever. Those who called for more far reaching changes, which has not been supported in the vote, and those who disagreed with any change, can be confident that their contribution to the Campaign remains as valued as ever – and that all members can continue to work together to achieve common objectives.”