Mark Baird hosts first official engagement as new SBPA president


The Scottish Beer & Pub Association’s new President, Diageo’s Mark Baird – who succeeded HEINEKEN’s David Paterson – has held his first official engagement in the role.

The evening saw the SBPA and joint-host, Gordon MacDonald MSP welcome Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), their staff, journalists and industry stakeholders to the Kilderkin pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, to celebrate beer and pubs in the country, at the packed-out event.

In his speech, Mark highlighted the importance of the industry, not only to Scotland’s economy but also to its heritage, culture and identity. He repeated SBPA calls for greater support for the industry, highlighting the recent record investment by SBPA members in their operations in Scotland. 

New SBPA President Mark Baird comments:

“I am delighted to be taking on this role and this was a fantastic event to kick it off. Scotland faces many policy challenges and our sector plays a central role in the Scottish economy, with almost 60,000 Scottish jobs reliant on beer and pubs. Our challenge is to ensure that the priorities of Scottish brewing and pubs remain at the top of the policy agenda.

“The event last week at Kilderkin did exactly that, allowing our members a chance to directly communicate with MSPs in a relaxed environment, while also serving as a networking event. Holding the event outside the Scottish Parliament campus and in a pub also allowed us to showcase the industry at its best, and served as a literal example of the investment by the industry.

“It’s also important to note the huge contribution that former President David Paterson has made over the last two years. In that time, the industry and association has gone through immeasurable changes. David’s leadership has been a key driver in getting the association and industry into the position it is today.”

Former SBPA President David Paterson comments:

“Mark is already well known to stakeholders across the on and off trade and brings a great deal of expertise to the role of President.  It’s been a real pleasure working with him over the past few years and I know that he has a strong agenda going forward to showcase the positive impact of beer and pubs across Scotland.  He will play an important role in bringing all those with an interest in our great industry together to focus on the real issues during these uncertain times.  I congratulate Mark and we all very much look forward to working with him as our new SBPA President.”