- What is your company mission statement?
Our mission statement sums up exactly what Fuller's is all about:
"We aim to be the benchmark in retailing and brewing, delivering Quality, Service and Pride in everything we do."
- What are your corporate objectives?
We will deliver a strong and consistent financial performance through long term strategies that are well defined and clearly communicated.
We will remain an independent family controlled business, respecting our heritage and combining the complementary benefits of brewing traditional ales of the highest quality with running the most profitable retail estate.
We will focus on the needs of today’s customer, position ourselves for the future and give total commitment to quality, service, excellence and efficiency.
We aim to attract and retain committed employees, to develop their potential and let them share in the success of the Company.
We intend to make a positive contribution to the communities in which we trade.
- Do you have a statement of quality policy?
It is the policy of Fuller Smith & Turner P.L.C.
To provide products and services of the highest quality and consistency, thereby meeting the expectations demanded by our customers.
To involve members of the workforce in the process of continuous improvement and to achieve success through teamwork.
To develop inherent quality through our business processes, rather than relying on inspection and testing.
To have in place a business improvement system that addresses both the needs of operations and our customers, while also meeting the requirements of ISO 9001 and current legislation.
To drive improvement throughout the Beer Company by the use of Key Performance Indicators, with reviews occurring at all appropriate levels up to the Executive Board.
- How long has brewing taken place at Fuller's Griffin Brewery?
Fuller's is traditionally a family business and beer has been brewed on the Chiswick site for over three hundred and fifty years.
The original owners of the business, Douglas and Henry Thompson and Philip Wood, approached John Fuller in the nineteenth century for an injection of cash to help their struggling partnership. John joined the founders in 1829, but in 1841 Douglas Thompson fled to France and the partnership was dissolved. In 1845, John Fuller's son, John Bird Fuller, was joined by Henry Smith (from Romford brewers Ind and Smith) and his brother-in-law John Turner, forming Fuller Smith & Turner as it is known today. There are still representatives of the Fuller and Turner families working in the business and all the families are still strongly represented by their shareholdings.
- Why are Fuller's pubs mainly located in London?
Fuller’s are mainly geographically based around West London, due to the legacy of beer being delivered by horses and pubs having to be within a manageable radius of the brewery. These days the business outlets stretch as far out as Bristol and Birmingham and with the recent acquisition of George Gale & Co we now have presence in the South of England and along the South Coast.
- What is the impact that your organisation has on the local community?
The process of brewing beer involves the use of natural products, primarily malted barley, hops, yeast and water. As with all "food" products, beer by nature recycles through the food chain. Surplus materials from the brewing process, e.g. excess yeast, spent grains and trub (a mixture of malt protein material and spent hops) are recycled into cattle feed and other food products.
Energy used within the brewing process is recycled as much as possible. The Company continues to meet its responsibilities in respect of the recycling of packaging waste. The Company is committed to the Climate Change Levy and is complying with this as part of a brewing sector agreement with the BBPA (British Beer & Pub Association). The retail estate business participates in bottle glass recycling schemes such as Smash and Grab bottle crushers and a number of other glass recyclers.
- Do you have a lab or quality control department?
Yes - it is vital that we maintain and improve the consistency and quality of our products. Our Laboratory has considerably expanded in recent times and now employs a team of two supervisors and seven laboratory technicians, three of whom alternate on shift work.
In addition to the main Laboratory Department located within the Brewhouse, we have created two satellite areas, one within bottling and the other in our Conditioning Tank Room.
- Do you have beer testers or inspectors who visit your pubs?
Yes we do, it is just as important that we monitor the quality of our products when it has left the brewery as it is to monitor it at the brewery!
We have a team of 10 people who visit our own pubs, other pubs, clubs and also wholesalers to install, service or clean the dispense equipment. Three of the team are trained as Beer Quality Advisors and check the beer quality that is being served to our customers. They can also advise licensees should they require any help or advice. They hold regular training courses at the Brewery in the Hock Cellar, for cellar staff, managers and tenants.
The other members of the team are the cellar installation fitters who maintain and repair the equipment and also carry out conversions when we purchase new pubs. They provide a 24-hour service, seven days a week.
- What kind of packaging do you use?
Our own beers are put into casks, kegs, bottles and cans. The majority of our beer is racked (i.e. filled) into various sizes of casks.
- Do you still use wooden barrels?
No, we stopped using wooden barrels many years ago. We now use casks and kegs made from stainless steel.
- What forms of communication do you use at the brewery?
Excellent communication is the key to running a succesful business and this takes many forms. At the brewery we use the following methods of communication on a daily basis:
- Does Fuller's sell its beers abroad?
Yes, through the Export Department, our award-winning ales are reaching the world outside the British Isles. The largest market is the USA where our importers, DBI, import and distribute our beers. The two mainstream brands exported are London Pride and ESB in both bottle and draught. These, combined with our full range of other beers, ensure that we maintain a strong position in most states across the US. An exciting partnership with Italy's leading brewery, Birra Peroni, has given us a great opportunity to penetrate this important export market for English ales. London Pride and Golden Pride are transported in bulk to Peroni's brewery in Padova for kegging, while London Pride and Golden Pride bottles make up the rest of the brand portfolio. On a smaller scale we continue to develop our presence in Canada, Sweden and Finland.
- How many pubs does Fuller's own?
Fuller's currently owns 367 pubs, 163 of these are managed and 204 are tenanted or leased.
- Do employees have to wear any special clothing for the work?
Depending on the department in which you work, special clothing may be required. Employees in production, engineering, warehousing, bottled beer stores and distribution are provided with clothing for work (e.g. protective shoes, trousers, shirts, fleeces, jackets and lab coats). Safety equipment is also provided for those that need it, such as hard hats, gloves and fluorescent jackets and vests.
- In what areas of the business does Fuller's use IT?
IT is used in all areas of the business including purchasing, production, sales and stock control.
- Is beer suitable for people with wheat intolerance?
In order to make beer, breweries purchase malt from maltsters which is sold to us as 100% barley. However, due to farmers growing wheat and barley on a rotation basis in the same fields over several years, they make us aware that there is always a chance that a very small trace of wheat can appear in the malt. This is minimal and likely to be a maximum of only 2%.
If you have a very sensitive wheat allergy, our Production Brewer would advise that you should avoid beer altogether whatever the brand. We would say that very small traces of wheat can occasionally be found in any beer and this may or may not affect wheat allergy sufferers according to the degree of seriousness of their allergy.
- Is beer suitable for vegetarians or vegans?
All cask ales contain the fish product "isinglass" finings for settling the beer (unless otherwise stated) thus making them non-vegan or non-vegetarian. Cask ales can be identified as ales served through a hand pump. Beer served from a keg (lagers, smoothflow bitters and stouts) through a flick switch are pasteurised and not fined and so they are suitable for vegetarians.
Bottled products are filtered (not fined) and are therefore suitable for vegetarians. All Fuller's bottled beers are listed in the vegan handbook, except Organic Honey Dew. This is vegetarian, but according to the Vegan Soiciety, honey is NOT a vegan product.