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SABMiller not keen on migration

SABMiller recently stated its intention not to migrate beer production to South Africa following what appears to be a dry spell for the central areas. Speaking to the Economist last week at the launch of its Carling Blue Label, acting Managing Director Mike Baldichin stated that while migrating in the interim would perhaps be an option, it was not the most desirable. Said Baldichin, “we are aware of the situation. We had a risk assessment done and will be analysing and looking at what we can do. We are driving our water usage ratios and quite ambitious water usage down to 2.5 litres of water for every litre of beer. All of these decisions are going to inform us about what we will need to do.” The beer behemoth has claimed that its 260,000 hectolitre brewing plant counts as the fifth most efficient brewing plant for its smaller-sized plants SABMiller owns. Speaking to the Economist in April 2014, its Technical Manager Bogart Butler said at the time, “This is based on the design capability, and once we get to know the interactions of the various elements that make up the plant, we aim to reduce our usage to be the lowest in the SABMiller rankings for our size of the plant.” At the time, SABMiller used 3.25 litres of water to brew 1 litre of beer. “We are looking at other contengencies such as boreholes for example. The last contingency would be to import beer from South Africa. We would like to manufacture locally as much as possible. It’s not economic for us to import beer from South Africa,” Baldichin said. Baldichin also mentioned SABMiller’s willingness to use local inputs in the production. “From the African context point of view, a lot of businesses are far more advanced then the local context. We have to catch up on that. We are looking at key inputs in the production process which will be local and mahangu is an alternative as a local input.” Baldichin who is heading SABMiller for three months following the retirement of previous Managing Director Cobus Bruwer said on the search for a new managing director, “I expect the next CEO to be in place in the next two to three months.”

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