The Samoa Breweries Limited’s finances have been declining in the last five years and its shareholding capital is $12 million.
This was confirmed by Muagututi’a Lafaele Ngau Chun during his live show on StarFM with host and owner, Maposua Corey Keil yesterday.
Muagututi’a is one of the 200+ local shareholders of Samoa Breweries Limited and local shares holders own 6 percent while the majority shareholder is Paradise Beverages Limited which owns 94 percent of the company.
Paradise Beverages Limited’s parent company is Coca-Cola Company.
Radio Polynesia has made numerous efforts to get comments from the Board of Directors, Christopher Jon LITCHFIELD, Roger John Hare, and Elizabeth Clare Oneil who are based overseas but have been unsuccessful.
Muagututi’a said was disappointing how he received word the company was shifting production, to Fiji.
“And it comes down to “not wanting to invest money into the improvement of the brewery.
“If you want to move out, sell [Vailima] back to our people,” urged Muagututi’a.
He said they need to evaluate the production equipment, given that it was never replaced, which consisted of the brewing, packing, and bottling and it will cost $10 million to “overhaul” the production line.
Muagututi’a said Coca-Cola should just “give away” the plant since they are walking away.
Furthermore, he called on the Government to take action.
“They should step in to salvage Vailima, given its a Samoan brand and that Vailima is the Country’s national beer.”
In the meantime, Fijitimes reported that Vailima will begin operations in Fiji by October, says in general manager and chief brewer for Paradise Beverages Fiji Limited, Michael Spencer.
He said the move was deemed feasible for the continuity of the company’s operations and while it’s their preference for Vailima to be brewed in Samoa; however, Samoa Breweries – a subsidiary of Paradise Beverages – has been operating through trading challenges for several years now, due to a combination of COVID-19 and cost-related challenges.
Spencer said their leadership team has explored every avenue to continue brewing in Samoa, including further investment into the aging brewery at Vaitele, working with a third party to develop a new brewery, and working with a third party to brew our brands.
But none of the options were commercially viable.
Adding they have the utmost respect for “the Vailima brand and want to keep the Vailima brand alive by moving production to Fiji and that the Vailima brand and heritage will continue to live on by using the same traditional methods and ingredients.”
The report says that in the past five years, Samoa Breweries Limited had steadily declined its operations on account of factors that included aging machinery, the impact of the 2019 measles outbreak, followed by the disruption caused by COVID-19.