From the report of Sovinformburo, as of 16.10.2014: in battle with transnational brewing invaders, forces of Barley, Malt, Hops & Beer Union drove in for aggressive attack. Transnational brewing command trying to blunt and stop a drive, quickly recycled forces, using bottom financial reserves. As a result of a stubborn battle at the All-Russian Agricultural Exhibition “Golden Autumn”, entrenched positions of LLC “Baltika” and Denmark army (under command of Field-Marshal-General Isaak Sheps) were breached and defeated. During the battle forces of the Union crushed 20, 12, 13, 43, 53 and 57 transnational brewing army corps of 292, 258, 183, 15, 98, 34, 268, 260, 62, 17, 137, 131, 31, 296 and 167 maltose-dextrose and 19th enzymatic divisions and second team of the “Russian Brewers Union” airlifted from Copenhagen. The enemy is withdrawing in tatters to the West, leaving wounded, weapons and war equipment. After releasing Moscow, Kursk, Krasnoyarsk, Chelyabinsk, Novocheboksarsk, Rostov-on-Don, Novotroitsk, Perm, St-Petersburg, thousands of towns and villages from invaders, our army rushed Angarsk in October 1, 2014.
And now, jokes aside.
Nobody expressed sorrow for closing of the plant “Sun InBev” in Angarsk – 11th transnational brewing factory.
So, the activity of our Union, led to closing of 11th transnational brewing plant, became “the talk of the town”. Someone can criticize, like or hate the President of the Union A. Mordovin, but the care about domestic agricultural producers and independent brewing business will always run like a golden threat through our activity. We don’t make money on the industry like our “colleagues” from “Russian Brewers Union”, siphoning off the budget. We are working on a gratis basis for the general welfare, for our strong, independent, law-abiding industry. We don’t like headline-making cases and criminal chaos. Sorry, if we make some mistakes, he is lifeless who is faultless…
Closing of Sun InBev division in Angarsk went unnoticed. For Angarsk where over 800 employees were dismissed per saltum, reduction in the number of 100 persons wasn’t shocking. We decided to have a talk with former workers of the plant to know: “beer foam is not gushing and what is in the bottom”?
Benoit De Witte: citizens of Angarsk choose stronger drinks
Belgian, Benoit De Witte came to the company “Sun InBev” eight years ago. In 2007 he was in the opening of the brewing plant in Angarsk. He observed the first brew. Then he worked as a manager for this company in Moscow. More than three years ago Benoit returned to our town as a CEO of the Angarsk division. He held this position for two years and left the company in 2012. In summer 2013 he opened a pub “BBB” in Angarsk.
– Benoit, have economical indicators and sales slowdown in the brewing market triggered for closing of the plant? What is your opinion?
– The plant was geared to cope with large production. It was equipped with good German machines and huge sums were invested in the construction. When I was a Director of the Angarsk division, the plant produced near one million hectoliters of beer (1 hl. is equal to 100 liters). It was only 25% from planned capacity. But it had to produce 4,5 million hectoliters of beer. I think that management team of Sun InBev made a strategic mistake, planning to build such plant in Angarsk. Decisions were taken at the period characterized by increasing of beer consumption to 10-15% per year. Nobody expected that Russian people would be no more interested in beer. The Russians are not a beer nation. For example, in Germany consumption per capita is 100 litres/year, in Belgium – 80 and in Russia – near 50-60. And it is a limit for your country.
In 2008 there was an economical crisis. Beer market touched bottom. But the level of alcohol consumption in Russia didn’t drop, people began to buy cheaper but stronger drinks.
All largest brewing plants in Russia are owned by foreigners, including Sun InBev. The Government doesn’t support this business.
Why is it so? At the proper time Sun InBev received tax concessions!
– There was an agreement with regional authorities concerning concessional tax period due to the scale of production and number of jobs. As a director, I insisted that taxes were kept in the town not transferred to the region. Unfortunately, the plan died on the vine. There is a lack of producing units in Angarsk. Mainly, entrepreneurs are running trading and lettings. It means that Angarsk as a city, doesn’t earn.
– When the plant was opened managers promised to hire over 400 persons. Now, according to the official source, 110 employees got laid off. How many people were in employment?
– If the plant produced 4,5 million hl. per year, over 400 persons would be working there. In my presence there were 230 persons. That year we planned to produce only 400 thousand hl. it is clear, why we dismissed the rest. Now there are only 110 employees and they will be selected for redundancy at the end of October.
– What about the plant?
– I hoped that free production area would be occupied by another brewing company. For example, in Irkutsk the plant “Heineken” is operating. But Sun InBev will not follow lead, the company is cooperating with China and probably the equipment from Angarsk plant will be moved to the Celestial Empire.
– And what are prospects for the brewing industry in our country?
– It is difficult to judge. By my opinion wine and strong beverage market began growing instead of brewing one. I’ll continue to propagate the correct beer consumption through the restaurant and beer science club.
Elena Fedorova, the First Deputy Chief of the City: 1,5 million less
– Due to the job cut in the Angarsk brewing plant, the budget will lose near 1,5 million rub. of personal income tax. Besides, the brewing plant pays a rent for a land. But in this case somebody can become an assignee of the tenant.
Andrey Shcherbakov, the Head of the Brewery “Kleofasa Erdmana”:
Beer market is dropping
– People are losing job. We live in Angarsk and realize that it’s very difficult to find a new good job. Bu not only Sun InBev is closing, the brewing company “Baltika” in Chelyabinsk and Krasnoyarsk is cutting down production. Beer market in Russia is dropping. It is due to excise tax increase. In 2008 an excise tax was 3 rub. and now it is 18 rub. per litre and next year it will be 20 rub.
The second reason – product quality. In Russia such companies as “Baltika”, “Heineken”, “Sun InBev”, “Efes” are losing their popularity. According to expert estimates, their share will be approximately 70% in 2016-2017 while in 2010 it was 90%. The consumer is ready to pay for a high quality product – beer produced in small breweries according to the traditional technologies without any chemicals. There was a time when people confused our beer with Sun InBev. We didn’t like it because of above mentioned reasons.
Sergey Zhukov, Usolye:
I could pass capitalism conditions only for six months
– I worked in Sun InBev in 2010 after loss of job at “Usolyehimprom”. Every day we moved to the plant in Angarsk by the company vehicle, besides, work schedule was suitable. The only thing I didn’t like was attitude to people. Squealing was encouraged by the management team. There was a special electronic journal for any failures that were committed by coworkers, for example slobbering water over the floor.
Once, I had a fever and came to the plant, taking paracetamol and got a rap over the knuckles. Somebody fixed it in the journal. It was permitted to take meds which were dispensed on a doctor’s prescription within the territory of Sun InBev.
To wear rings and watch is also prohibited within the plant. This ban was introduced when a ring of one worker from American Sun InBev hitched on the revolving gear and as a result he lost his finger. Once I heard that a fellow worker was hauled up sharply for a spot on his clothes as a result of the dropped sandwich. It’s very difficult when every step is controlled and punished. I was brought up according to the other principles and I can’t live in dread of being accused. So, I could pass capitalism conditions for six months. Now I ‘m installing vinyl windows, wearing sensible clothes, say what I mean without fear to be dismissed.
The plant will be closed, a canteen will be operating
A canteen of the plant Sun InBev is the only one in the town opened from 9:00 till 23:00. Earlier only employees from Sun InBev could have a meal there but now it is opened for all comers. The room is large and it holds 80 persons. Will it be operating after closing of the plant?
By opinion of Zoya Chuchkova, the director of LLC “Charli”, three years ago they concluded a tenancy agreement with Sun InBev. The contract validity period will lapse in March 2015. Though the future of the plant is unknown, but the tenant is panning to operate for many years. The canteen is very popular and a visitor has a wide range of dishes at choice. The average dinner price is 100-120 rub. It appears that the plant will be closed and the canteen will continue to operate.
According to this sign plate near the central entrance, the Angarsk Sun InBev has been performing for 5 years and 6 months.
The plant has been constructing from September 2006. Since that moment the power structure and people’s attitude towards beer have been changed. Everything is logical. It is pleasant to note that the activity of our Union leads to closing of transnational brewing companies and opening of Russian independent brewing plants.