Recent events at The White Hag have provided us with a much-needed wake-up call about the importance of our company culture and values, and how we define and communicate these with staff and our community of beer consumers.
Recent opinions and views of our former brewmaster shared in the public domain were associated with, and even viewed as, representative of the brewery. These opinions included some that discussed showed support of organisations that promote hateful and divisive ideologies and conspiracy theories. Any such representation of the brewery could not be further from the truth.
The White Hag is committed to promoting diversity, inclusion and openness in all areas. Following a lot of internal investigation and discussion, however, we now realise that our ability as an organisation to deal with this was clearly diminished by two main factors – factors we are now addressing head on.
Firstly, we did not take seriously enough the impact of the personal views and beliefs of team members, and how they impact our community. We now realise our team is our brewery, and that their actions do reflect directly on our brand.
Secondly, the absence of diversity in the management team – coupled with a lack of training and policies in specific areas – meant we did not understand the impacts of these views and beliefs on our community. If we don’t understand the issues, it’s impossible to understand the impacts.
Recent events have made us realise that when confronted with views like our former brew master’s, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing. To be silent is to be complicit. We have always appreciated the diversity of our customers and our beer community, but never published or championed those beliefs and principles. We promise now to take action that is obvious and powerful enough to bolster a culture of inclusivity and openness for good.
We have always believed diversity, inclusion and openness, but from now we will be actively promoting it – as well as providing a working environment where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of their race, gender, age, ability, religion, belief, colour, national origin or sexual orientation.
Our intention is to learn from this episode and to truly understand that while great beer is the heart of The White Hag, our values deserve just as much attention. We’ll not rest until people of every persuasion can view The White Hag as a business and brewery you would feel comfortable working in, visiting and supporting.
We are seeking the guidance we need from professionals and friends in the community, starting with Diversity and Inclusion training for our entire team. Alongside this we are building a robust Diversity and Inclusion policy, which will in turn inform our recruitment, operations and communications process and policy.
For this we have engaged the services of Under The Rainbow for training and policy development. Separately, we have appointed an independent HR service who will investigate any issues raised by current or former staff, customers or social media connections who may have any issue to bring forward about the organisation or members of staff.
Finally, the events and collaborations we are planning over the coming months will reflect our commitment to an open, inclusive, creative, and tolerant community. We must reiterate with the utmost conviction that The White Hag is a business that is open to and inclusive of everyone, except those who promote intolerance.
We appreciate the time and effort the community have taken to help us on this journey, we intend to repay your generosity over time.
Recent events have triggered ongoing legal and HR processes. Issues are being addressed which restrict our ability to openly and publicly discuss some matters right now, but we’d love to hear from anyone directly who would like to provide feedback, seek clarifications or propose resolutions. You can get us on [email protected] or [email protected]