Supporting the drinks industry through COVID-19
The effects of coronavirus across Australian society have been widespread and it may be some time before we return to some semblance of normality after the depth of the disruption caused by the virus.
In the drinks industry, COVID-19 has caused a seismic shift in the demand for many categories, and as such, is impacting the way our Members operate.
For generations, Australians have enjoyed carbonated and still non-alcoholic beverages, including a range of soft drinks, juices and water, in a range of flavours. Today, at a time when our nation faces an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis, we are reminded of how important the drinks industry is in meeting the needs of everyday Australians.
Against the backdrop of significant disruption caused by COVID-19, the Australian Beverages Council has supported drinks manufacturers and suppliers by ensuring our industry remains an essential sector. This ensures supply to Australians and in turn, supports the workforce. It is important to note that many small beverage companies continue to find the current situation incredibly challenging.
The industry’s supply chain is diverse, from local and imported ingredients to R&D laboratories, transportation, logistics, materials handling, plant and equipment, and much more. As we convey to governments the importance of drinks manufacturing, we also emphasise the end-to-end supply chain that is critical to supporting core operations. The industry relies on quality Australian produce and expertise right across the supply chain.
We have communicated to government the need for beverage manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to continue to be regarded as essential during this crisis for the following reasons:
- Our country is experiencing an unprecedented demand for essential products, including food and beverages;
- Our Members’ staff are on the front line in providing for the needs of our communities and are working continuously to transport beverages from bottling plants to retailers and into the hands of consumers across the country;
- Members are providing record amounts of stock to ensure consumers have a constant and adequate supply of beverages;
- The supply chain is supporting supermarkets, convenience stores and other retailers that are crucial to meeting the needs of households across the country.
Each day, but particularly during this challenging time, we extend our gratitude to our Members and their staff who are working tirelessly to provide Australians with refreshing drinks and other consumer products needed now more so than ever.
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. Through these, our organisation, and its relevance and impact continue to grow.
For further information or to interview Geoff Parker, CEO, Australian Beverages Council:
Australian Beverages Council
E: Cathy Cook