As a means of giving first-hand information to members of the public about their production process the management of Sierra Leone Brewery Limited yesterday organised a conducted tour for journalists representing the various media institutions.
The tour was intended to clear the doubts in the minds of people on their various brands.
According to the Company’s Secretary and also the Corporate Relations Manager, Albert O. Collier, the purpose of the tour is for Journalists to get the facts first hand, rather than to give them a press statement about the activities of the production process.
He explained that the day was described as an Open Day as Journalists are at liberty to ask questions for clarifications on any doubt detected in their production process.
Making a brief statement before the start of the tour, the Managing Director of SL Brewery, Willy Ngana, stated that he believes in the role of the press in nation-building which is why he decided to invite the media to do a conducted tour to see what the company is doing, ‘as the more you communicate the better’ explaining that they aim at being an exemplary company in the country and that the press is linking them with their consumer.
He maintained that Brewery is part of Heineken, which is the most international company in the world in terms of country coverage and the most international brand you can find anywhere in the world, adding that Heineken came into Sierra Leone in 1961 and produced the first Star beer in 1962 and in 1965, they started producing Heineken in Sierra Leone, as the only country in Africa and Asia doing this because of the quality of the machine and commitment of the management and in 1992 they started producing Maltina.
In 1994, they launched the new bottling plant and in 2013, launched the only beer that is produced without sugar, ‘Mutzig beer’ which won a Gold medal this year.
The Managing Director stated that their mission is to be an exemplary company, contributing to the sustainable development of the country by creating job opportunities for the youths, while disclosing the SL Brewery is presently competing with many foreign beer brands that are not produced in the country, which is a clear manifestation that they do not believe in the country’s development, which is contrary to the thoughts of SL Brewery that is investing hugely in Sierra Leone ‘with the Agenda for Prosperity, the business market is growing in the country’ he recalled.
He also explained that Brewery believes in the implementation of the local content policy, which is why they are using Sorghum that is locally produced in the country by farmers who were employed by the company. He also said that they now have about 70,000 (seventy thousand) employees country- wide including management level, distributors, transporters, farmers among others.
Speaking about the various brands produced by SL Brewery, the Trade Marketing Manager, Desmond George, disclosed that they produce Heineken, Guinness, Star beer, Maltina, Mutzig and most recently, they have started producing soft drinks to meet the needs of other consumers as they want to be on top of situation in the country in terms of brew, maintaining that the increasing rate of foreign brands in terms of beer is affecting their operations, as a local producer which is not applicable in other parts of the world.
During the tour within the company’s premises, the Packaging Manager, Alimamy Sesay, maintained that to ensure the safety of their consumers, SL Brewery is using one of the most recent bottling washing machine which washes about 30,000 (thirty thousand) bottles within an hour and the filling machine fills 26,000 (twenty-six thousand) bottles using the same time frame, explaining that the difference between the Maltina production process and that of the beers is that they do not pitch the yeast, which is vital in beer production and the dedicated time line is also different between the two processes.
To address the issue of one of the most controversial questions that is being frequently asked by pressmen and members of the public in relation to particles being found inside any of their sealed products, the Packaging Manager did a demonstration putting an object inside one of the bottles on the conveyor belt going for filling with the filling machine having more than eight cameras.
He demonstrated how the machine throws out the bottle containing the object before it reaches the filling point.
Friday June 20, 2014