Why a Craft Beer Alliance?

Why A Purchasing Alliance in The Craft Beer Industry

A cooperative (also known as a co-op) is an autonomous association of people united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled business. A purchasing cooperative is a type of cooperative, often made up of businesses, who have agreed to aggregate demand to get lower prices from selected suppliers.

How Cooperatives Help Businesses Stay Strong

Put simply, most of North America’s 29,000 plus cooperatives work by giving member-businesses the benefits of scale typically only available to big corporations. At the same time, members get to stay autonomous – operating their businesses their way.

Benefits of membership typically include some combination of the following – all of which the IBA is working on:

  • Collective Purchasing Power – members get pricing and volume-based rebates they could never achieve on their own – and these get better and better over time as the co-op gains strength
  • Access to Expertise – co-ops collect and share information with their members – trends, best practices and advice – that can help members improve operations and profitability
  • Risk Mitigation – co-ops protect members against the unforeseen – like pandemics, supply shortages and inflation – by helping secure pricing and access to goods and services
  • Collaboration and Networking – being part of a cooperative can bring like-minded members together in partnerships, joint ventures and other growth opportunities
  • Time Savings – co-ops save members time, for instance, by helping find, evaluate and negotiate with suppliers, so members can focus on other aspects of their business

Here’s the Main Point – Survival of the Fittest

The result of all of this – and this is the part we really want you to pay attention to – is that businesses who are part of a cooperative are more likely to survive and thrive vs. their non-co-op competitors. And nowhere are the advantages of a co-op more apparent than in highly competitive and volatile industries. Like craft beer.

Why Join the IBA Now?

The days of double digit growth in craft beer are long gone and now, in 2024, the BA’s forecast is for flat to declining industry sales. Meanwhile startups continue to enter and other beverage styles steal share.

In summary, the pundits say the industry has shifted from its growth stage to one of consolidation where breweries focus on banding together and/or trying to improve their operations to reduce waste and costs.  What can you do to stay stay strong and competitive without sacrificing your independence? Well, you can’t just count on making great beer anymore. You have to have a great business plan too. And part of that plan could be – should be – joining the IBA. 

And guess what? There are two ways to join the IBA. As a dues paying member with full benefits. Or for free – no dues at all. And there’s no catch. Learn more here.

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