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Gonsalves happy with Brewery canning plans

Gonsalves happy  with Brewery  canning plans

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The move by the new owners of the St. Vincent Brewery Ltd to commence the canning of local drinks has been well received by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}}

At Tuesday’s celebrations to mark 25 years of the company’s existence, Chief Executive Officer of International Brewery Ltd, Franklin Leon, announced that by the end of the year, a canning line will be established, which will be capable of serving local market needs.

Leon said that this project is part of the company’s commitment to continue building on its success, as they strive to continue to be a good corporate citizen.

Prime Minister Gonsalves, speaking at the ceremony which was held at the Brewery’s Campden Park compound, said that this initiative would not only complement the government’s “No Bottle Policy”, but will also increase local production and revenue.

“The Brewery doesn’t suffer because they simply import canned beers from one of their sister companies…. When the beers come in cans, it means that we use less water here in St. Vincent, we have less labour, there is less value added from electricity and other services.”

“So I said to them, ‘You have been asking for consideration to can the beers here, given our No Bottle Policy’… and the new investors said that they will give consideration to this matter, even though it calls for more investment, and they kept their word, and I am very happy that they are going to can their beers here.”

Dr. Gonsalves indicated that had the new owners of the Brewery, Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana (CND), not considered local canning procedures, the government may have had to consider revisiting the No Bottle Policy; which he did not want to do.

“Our No Bottle Policy at Carnival time, Independence, Gospel Fest…which was pushed by the Ministries of Culture and National Security, saves lives, saves people from getting injured at these mass events,” the Prime Minister noted.

He also lauded the Brewery for its move to implement a waste water treatment plant by year’s end, and for the introduction of world renowned Presidente Beer, which they will begin brewing here by October, according to Leon.

“When the policy makers and investors can work in that way, it means that when the issue of incentives arises for continuation or extension, the government is much better disposed to give favorable consideration than if the investors simply want to do their own thing and don’t want to have a partnership,” Dr Gonsalves added. “I want to assure them their investment is safe,” he added.

International Brewing Ltd., a subsidiary of Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana of the Dominican Republic, acquired 76.5% controlling interest in the St. Vincent Brewery in February this year. (JJ)

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