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ZAMBIAN BREWERIES $2M INVESTMENT RESTORES CASTLE LITE PRODUCTION

ZAMBIAN BREWERIES $2M INVESTMENT RESTORES CASTLE LITE PRODUCTION

February 06
18:08 2017
Top beer brand will be packaged at Zambian Breweries’ plant in Lusaka, after US$2 million refit
LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries’ world-class Castle Lite lager has returned to local production with the commissioning this week of new a US$2 million packaging line at the company’s Mungwi Road plant in Lusaka.
Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe was on hand to officially launch the new production line, which is part of the company’s reinvigorated  investment programme following government’s reduction of excise tax on clear beer from 60 percent to 40 percent in the 2016 Budget.
“This plant will play a critical role in complementing government’s efforts in creating wealth and jobs for our people. Economic development is a collective effort that should not be left to the government alone but should involve all stakeholders including the private sector and civil society. To this end the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry shall endeavour to encourage participation of all stakeholders in the development of our economy,” she said.
“It is gratifying to know that Castle Lite lager will be made from the finest Zambian barley, freshly malted in Zambia at the company’s new maltings plant located in the Lusaka-South Multi-facility Economic Zone (LS-MFEZ). You will agree with me that the use of barley in the manufacturing of Castle Lite Larger will not to only increase the production of barley in Zambia but also spur economic activities in the country. The ingredients and standards will remain the same. Furthermore, I have been assured that the packaging of Castle Lite lager locally will certainly not change its taste.”
Production of Castle Lite in Zambia was halted as volumes of the famous lager fell below the critical 100,000-hectolitre level, blamed on the high excise tax in place at the time. The 60 per cent tax rate provided an incentive for smuggling the product in from aboard, which resulted in Illegal imports of Castle Lite accounting for twice that of the legally-imported product. As a result of the competition from lower-priced smuggled Castle Lite, the company is estimated to have suffered a loss of K24 million in profits in the last financial year.
However, following the government’s decision in the 2016 Budget to reduce excise duty on clear beer from 60 to 40 per cent, Zambian Breweries has now decided to package Castle Lite locally. The government’s move was intended to spur local manufacturing, promote investment and curb smuggling, and has been welcomed by bosses at Zambian Breweries who are now ensuring a future supply of officially-imported Castle Lite which is all set to be packaged at the production line in Lusaka from this December.
“We would like to assure our customers that the local production of their favourite Castle Lite lager will in no way affect the high standard of the product. We will maintain the high international standards; nothing will change as the taste and everything else will be maintained – it is only that this will be produced and packaged locally,” said Zambian Breweries country director Annabelle Degroot.
Mrs Degroot said resumption of the producing and packaging of Castle Lite in Zambia will not only create employment but also contribute to the country’s revenue.
Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe unveils a stone to mark the commissioning of Zambian Breweries’ new Castle Lite packaging line with Zambian Breweries country director Annabelle Degroot.
Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe unveils a stone to mark the commissioning of Zambian Breweries’ new Castle Lite packaging line with Zambian Breweries country director Annabelle Degroot and director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele.
Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe inspects production from Zabian Breweries new Caste Lite packaging line, with technical director Franz Schepping.
Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe receives a thank you gift of Castle Lite from director of corporate affairs Ezekiel Sekele.
About AB InBev in Zambia
Zambian Breweries Plc, along with its sister companies National Breweries and Heinrich’s Syndicate, is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), one of the world’s largest brewers, with more than 400 beer brands and some 200,000 employees in over 50 countries. It is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of soft drinks.
Zambian Breweries was established in Zambia in 1968 and its product range has grown to include clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle, Carling Black Label and Eagle beer as well as the Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Schweppes brands.
National Breweries produces the Chibuku brand opaque beer, while Heinrich’s makes the popular Maheu Super Shake range.

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Gillian Langmead LLB (Hons), MBA, CIPR Accredited Practitioner, CIM Affiliate, AZIM
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Tel: +260 (979) 060705
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