SU­PER BREW­ERY

WHY FOUNDER WANTS IT BUILT HERE

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - JIM ALOUAT JOUR­NAL­IST jim.alouat@news-mail.com.au

BUNDABERG Brewed Drinks co-founder Cliff Flem­ing hopes a new

land­mark dis­tri­bu­tion deal with Pepsi will see a new su­per brew­ery built right here in Bundaberg.

The Pepsi deal will see the fa­mous ginger beer

com­pany’s bev­er­ages pro­duced in the US for the first time.

Scouts for the proud, fam­ily-owned busi­ness are look­ing for a prime spot to build a new plant to meet ex­pected de­mand.

Mr Flem­ing thinks the Bundy re­gion could make

a per­fect home for it. “I would hope that place would be in Bundaberg but due dili­gence must be done first,” he said.

BUNDABERG Brewed Drinks co-founder Cliff Flem­ing hopes a new land­mark dis­tri­bu­tion deal with Pepsi will see a new su­per brew­ery built here in Bundaberg.

The Pepsi deal will see the fa­mous ginger beer com­pany’s bev­er­ages pro­duced in the US for the first time.

It also means the com­pany will need to build a new plant to meet the global de­mands.

Mr Flem­ing, 74, who stepped down as chair­man last week but re­mains on the board, said noth­ing would make him hap­pier than to cel­e­brate his com­pany’s 50th year with the an­nounce­ment that a new plant would be built here in Bundaberg.

“We have peo­ple look­ing for a lo­ca­tion,” he said.

“I would hope that place would be in Bundaberg but due dili­gence must be done first.

“For it to be here, the in­fra­struc­ture and the abil­ity to serve our cus­tomers world­wide will be the key fac­tor.”

From its hum­ble be­gin­ning in the 1960s, the fam­ily busi­ness has now surged onto the global stage with yearly net sales of $160 mil­lion and em­ploy­ing more than 200 peo­ple.

But this global growth meant Mr Flem­ing felt it was time to pass on the ba­ton.

“By 2028 we be­lieve we will have dou­bled our busi­ness,” he said.

In­de­pen­dent board mem­ber Terry O’Brien, who spent 16 years as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of food man­u­fac­tur­ing gi­ant Sim­plot, took over as chair­man.

“Terry has both fam­ily and world busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence and my fam­ily will be able to learn from him,” he said.

Mr Flem­ing re­flected on his com­pany’s 50-year his­tory and its tremen­dous suc­cess, which he said was based on won­der­ful re­la­tion­ships.

“It started off with a very good prod­uct,” he said.

“But I have had all the help in the world from peo­ple in Bundaberg, from sugar mills and dis­til­leries

By 2028 we be­lieve we will have dou­bled our busi­ness

— Cliff Flem­ing

to farm­ers.”

Mr Flem­ing said as the busi­ness ex­panded it gar­nered more at­ten­tion from buy­ers.

“Yes, we have had of­fers and we get of­fers reg­u­larly but we’re not in­ter­ested,” he said.

“I have never thought about mov­ing the busi­ness from Bundaberg.”

Mr Flem­ing said he would keep an eye on things for a time be­fore pack­ing his bag and go­ing on a well-earned hol­i­day with his wife.

PHOTO: PAUL BEUTEL

NEW PLANT: Cliff Flem­ing, founder of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, has backed a new plant to be built in Bundaberg.

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