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Paradise Beverages unveils FJD 18 million new brewhouse at Suva Brewery

Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd today unveiled the new FJD 18 million brewhouse at its Suva Brewery.

Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd today unveiled the new FJD 18 million brewhouse at its Suva Brewery.

The brewhouse is part of owner Coca-Cola Amatil’s three-year, FJD 44 million capital investment program and was officially opened today by Fijian Prime Minister Rear Admiral Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and CCA Group Managing Director Alison Watkins.

Said the Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama, “Any investment of this scale is naturally very welcome. And I’m also pleased to learn that as many Fijian businesses and local tradespeople as possible have been employed to work on these upgrades.

“Significant investment by Paradise Beverages and other companies in Fiji, both Fijian and foreign, is demonstrative of the confidence they have in Fiji because of the policies and investment environment and conditions that my Government has created.”

Ms Watkins said, “Today is a significant milestone marking our commitment to the Pacific region.
“In December 2012 after we purchased the Paradise Beverages business, we announced a three-year program to invest FJD 44 million to modernise our facilities, improve the capability of local teams and provide better working conditions for our staff.
“Roughly half the total investment has been spent here at the Suva Brewery. The new brewhouse is fully automated and the latest state of the art technology means will optimise the quality and consistency of our beers.

“As a significant local employer, we place great importance on supporting the region as well as providing our customers with the highest quality beverages.

I’m proud to say that from the start, we have worked with local tradespeople and supported Fijian businesses wherever possible and we hope that new skills developed within the local workforce will provide further long-lasting benefits for the region.”

CCA purchased the business from SABMiller in 2012, following the latter’s takeover of Australia’s Foster’s Group Ltd (FGL), parent company of Foster’s Group Pacific Ltd. It was renamed Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd as part of CCA’s alcohol beverages strategy for the Pacific region and Australia.

The purchase means CCA is now one of Fiji’s biggest tax payers (contributing FJD 66.1 million in 2014).
Acknowledging the company’s contribution to the Fijian economy, the Prime Minister said
Paradise Beverages was a significant contributor to the local economy and the financial
wellbeing of many ordinary Fijians. “This is not only an important sector of economic activity
but an important economic contributor to our ability to provide the Fijian people with the
services they deserve across the board, whether it is education, health or the full range of
Government services.”

Among the region’s largest employers, Paradise Beverages employed around 300 staff across
Fiji and Samoa. One its four sites, the Suva Brewery employs 119 people and produces Fiji
Bitter, Fiji Gold (Fiji’s number one selling beer), Vonu Pure Lager and Fiji Premium, as well as
a range of Ready To Drink (RTD) products including Bounty Rum and Cola, and the Tribe
range.

Other facilities include its Samoan Brewery (home of Vailima Beer, Samoa’s biggest selling
beer), its Lautoka Distillery (home of the award-winning Bounty Rum range) and the Lautoka
Distribution Warehouse.

A review of the all four facilities in 2012 identified a number of requirements for significant
investment. Built as part of the original brewery 58 years ago, the redevelopment of the
Suva Brewery brewhouse is part of an extensive modernisation process. In November 2014,
CCA announced the closure of its Paradise Beverages’ Lautoka Brewery and its conversion
into a distribution warehouse, with production transferred to Suva. The two facilities
currently employ 192 staff and this number is not expected to change, despite the
implementation of the new automated system, with employees instead redeployed from
brewing into packaging.

Planning for Project Bula Vou (which is Fijian for New Life) commenced back in April 2013,
with work starting in mid-2014. The first brew was completed earlier this month and a
commissioning phase will see full production transferred to the new brewhouse over the next
two months.

The project is expected to be completed on schedule in August 2015 and involves the
replacement of the entire brewing facilities within the Suva Brewery. The new installation
has been completely entirely in parallel with the old equipment and within the current site
footprint, meaning production has been unaffected throughout.

The brewery currently produces around two million cases of beer each year for local
consumption, with capability for 500,000 cases for export. The new facilities will effectively
set up a doubling of capacity. Production of an extra two million cases for export is possible
with the cost-efficient addition of extra tanks.