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UK: Diageo opens GBP10m cooperage

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Diageo has opened a GBP10m (US$15.5m) cooperage in Scotland as part of plans to make its Scotch whisky operations more efficient.

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The new Cambus Cooperage, which was officially opened today (28 November) by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, replaces Diageo's cooperages in Dundashill and Carsebridge. The move is part of Diageo's restructuring of its Scotch whisky operations, announced in 2009 and also including the construction of the Roseisle distillery and closure of Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock

At full production, Cambus will produce 250,000 casks per year for Diageo's Scotch business, which includes the Johnnie Walker, Bell's and Talisker brands. Using technology developed by UK-based CI Logistics, the Cambus cooperage will also reduce the amount heavy lifting required of coopers, while making cask production more efficient, said the drinks giant.

"The demand for Scotch whisky is growing around the world, particularly in the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America," said Richard Bedford, Diageo's grain distilling director. "That means we need more casks than ever before."

Cambus will employ 40 coopers and around 40 support staff, according to Diageo. A spokesperson for the group told just-drinks: "The majority of the Dundashill Coopers and operators transferred to Carsebridge, however a number of coopers and operators chose to take voluntary redundancy." There were no compulsory redundancies involved in shifting coopering to Cambus from Dundashill and Carsebridge, she added.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Diageo, Johnnie Walker, Bell’s

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