IBC 2010 is this years key event for all those working in the Brewing supply chain, from Grain to Glass, to come together and debate the key strategic priorities for the Sector. With industry leaders participating in the programme, global delegate attendance and a comprehensive exhibition from industry suppliers this is an unmissable Convention.
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Foster's Group has dominated drinks news headlines over the last week, after the firm finally announced that it plans to demerge its beer business from its troubled wine division.
The move could certainly spell the end for Foster's Group as a company. Multinational brewers have been circling the firm's Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) business for some time, only having been deterred from diving in thus far by the prospective excess baggage of a bulky, under-performing wine division. With wine out of the equation, bids for CUB will be expected.
Away from the speculation fervour, last week's announcement also underlined that, firstly, mixing a wine and beer business is hard to do and, secondly, that Foster's overpaid for Southcorp in 2005 and has suffered from its inability to drain the firm's long stream of average wines. In that sense, the group's boat was already leaking when Australia was hit by a perfect storm of greater competition, oversupply and wild currency winds on the world wine market.
Should Foster's have got a better weather forecast of wine market conditions at the time?
Hindsight is a cruel advantage.
Looking ahead, meanwhile, just-drinks is gearing up for the World Cup in South Africa, which starts a week on Friday (11 June). As the brewers of the world have their fingers crossed for the month-long tournament to coincide with plenty of sunshine, so do we.
In the run-up to the opening game next week, we've got a World Cup slant to our features output over the next few days, when we will consider what the event means for the more provincial soft drinks brands, how South Africa's wine companies feel about the tournament arriving on their shores and what to do if – heaven forbid – your product gets hit by a recall during the event.
Until next time...