A refreshing recovery - a post-Coronavirus recovery blueprint for the Australian drinks industry

Peak industry body representing the $7 billion non-alcoholic beverages industry.

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A refreshing recovery – a post-Coronavirus recovery blueprint for the Australian drinks industry

For immediate release                                                                                                           14 September 2020

The Australian non-alcoholic drinks industry has launched an ambitious post-Coronavirus recovery agenda to complement the Australian Government’s pro-growth and pro-jobs policies, identifying nine key areas for positive change, to help business and the wider economy get back on their feet quickly.

Underpinned by a commitment to support widespread economic rebuilding and recovery, the report compiled by KPMG Australia details a number of proposals that have broad appeal beyond the drinks industry, including harmonisation of Container Deposit Schemes [CDS], incentivising key groups to meet sustainability goals, increasing recycling infrastructure, reforming the tax system, simplifying the industrial relations system and improving energy policy.

‘As the drinks manufacturing and supply industry continues to adapt to the challenges caused by the Coronavirus, the industry will continue to be focussed on more efficient use of resources through more sustainable practices and by minimising its environmental footprint,’ said Mr Geoff Parker, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council.

‘This will be achieved in partnership with governments through targeted action. As a priority, governments must ramp up the harmonisation of CDS and fast-track the development of reprocessing and remanufacturing infrastructure to handle post-consumer beverage containers and other waste here in Australia to close the domestic loop,’ added Mr Parker.

The KPMG policy report identifies the potential in extending CDS to all sectors that use and generate recyclable waste that would lead not only to higher job creation, but contribute to a more efficient and well-functioning national recycling industry in Australia.

‘Where possible, steps should be taken to increase the efficiency of existing and planned infrastructure, including CDS that is found in, or planned, for every State and Territory,’ said Mr Parker.

‘The drinks industry supports the Australian Government’s focus on creating incentives and infrastructure at every step of the waste supply chain,’ added Mr Parker.

The KPMG report also highlights high and volatile energy costs borne by businesses across the country, which negatively affects the manufacturing sector, reduces the competitiveness of Australian industry and makes sectors particularly vulnerable during times of crisis.

‘There is broad recognition by the industry of the government’s efforts to transition towards renewable energy, but there is also a need for increased incentives to adopt sustainable energy and co-generation schemes that focus on reliability and efficiency of energy supply as highlighted in the KPMG report,’ said Mr Parker.

The Australian Government supports the non-alcoholic drinks industry’s initiative in proposing key reforms and commitment to minimise its environmental footprint even further while investing in infrastructure that provides economic, environmental and social benefits to communities across the nation.

‘This report is very welcome and timely, and more industries should be thinking about the many opportunities that exist to capitalise on the Morrison Government’s strong commitment to supporting the circular economy,’ said the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, the Hon. Trevor Evans MP.

‘The partnership between industry and the Morrison Government is a clear sign that collaborative solutions are available to support economic recovery while meeting sustainability objectives,’ added the Assistant Minister.

The Australian Beverages Council will continue to consult widely with a range of industry and government stakeholders to increase understanding of the proposed reforms.

‘The non-alcoholic drinks industry welcomes other sectors to join the Australian Beverages Council in supporting long-term reform and commitment to the economic recovery of Australia following the pandemic,’ said Mr Parker.

The full policy report can be found here.

Mr Geoff Parker is available for interview about the industry’s policy reform blueprint and the response to the COVID-19 crisis.


Australian Beverages Council

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body representing the collective interests of the non-alcoholic beverages industry. We strive to advance the industry as a whole, as well as successfully represent the range of beverages produced by our members. These include carbonated regular and diet soft drinks, energy drinks, sports and isotonic drinks, bottled and packaged waters, fruit juice and fruit drinks, cordials, iced teas, ready-to-drink coffees, flavoured milk and flavoured plant milk. The unified voice of the Australian Beverages Council offers our members a presence beyond individual representation in order to promote fairness in the standards, regulations, and policies concerning non-alcoholic beverages. The Australian Beverages Council introduced a dedicated juice division, Juice Australia (formerly Fruit Juice Australia), in 2009 and a dedicated water division, the Australasian Bottled Water Institute (ABWI), in 2011.

For further information or to interview Geoff Parker, CEO, Australian Beverages Council:

Mr Shae Courtney
Senior Manager – Corporate Affairs
Australian Beverages Council
T: 02 8313 7760
M: 0420 736 136
E: Shae@ausbev.org