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Transformational Supply Chain Investment to Underpin the Daily Drinks Co.’s Growth

Transformational Supply Chain Investment to Underpin the Daily Drinks Co.’s Growth

19 August 2016:- The Daily Drinks Co., which forms part of Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD), has today announced a transformational investment of $28m over three years to underpin its ambition to be a leading nutritional beverage company with a competitive market presence and sustainable profit growth.

This investment signals LDD’s commitment to the Daily Drinks Co. juice and non-alcoholic ready-to-drink business and will deliver a comprehensive modernisation of its Smithfield and Leeton juice manufacturing sites in New South Wales. 

In the coming months, the Smithfield site will be transformed into a Centre of Excellence for juice blending and packing, whilst the Leeton site will become a Centre of Excellence for fresh produce processing and renamed The Leeton Juicing Co. from January 2017.  

Initially the Leeton site will provide extraction, as they do today, for The Daily Drinks Co. and Lion’s cider business in Australia. In time, The Daily Drinks Co. plans to extend its’ services, and sell high quality fruit and vegetable juice to other industrial customers for use in their own products. This investment is an exciting sign of the confidence in the vision and strategy, and gives The Daily Drinks Co. the opportunity continue to reinforce its market leadership in product quality, innovation and efficiency. 

In particular, this investment will ensure processing, blending and packing capability are set up to be agile and able to adapt to making the products that our customers and consumers want now and in the future.

As part of the investment The Daily Drinks Co. will modernise its juice blending equipment, creating capability for high quality, complex blends, as well as install high speed packing equipment that reduces our environmental impact and offers more scope for customised product. In addition, world class - and first in Australia – Ice Gen technology will be installed at the Leeton site to seal in the natural freshness of juice immediately after extraction, and retain this freshness through transportation. 

This transition will require significant operational changes across the Smithfield and Leeton sites. All packing, blending and warehousing operations will move from Leeton to Smithfield in a staged transition between now and the end of November 2016.  As a result, up to 20 roles will be made redundant at Smithfield and up to 30 at Leeton. We will be undertaking a voluntary redundancy program at both sites.

The Daily Drinks Co. Managing Director, Charmaine England said: “This $28m investment will transform our manufacturing sites providing us every opportunity to compete and help secure our juice and non-alcoholic drinks business in Australia over the long term.

“Any decision that results in job losses is highly regrettable. Today’s announcement is about ensuring we remain a sustainable and viable operator in the juice and non-alcoholic drinks category today and in the future. These changes are no reflection on the people working at our sites – the hard work and contribution that they have made to our business over many years is very much appreciated,” Ms England said.

“As always our people are our primary focus and we are committed to supporting them and their families as we transition to this new operating model.”

Everyone whose job has been impacted will receive their full entitlements and will be offered outplacement support.  We will also look for redeployment opportunities across the broader Lion business along with relocation assistance where appropriate. Free independent confidential counseling is also being offered to all employees and their families through our People Support Program.

The $28m investment comes on top of $18m that the Daily Drinks Co. invested in the Smithfield site in the past two years for the new water-ice processing lines.

“There has been a number of major changes in the marketplace, the first has been the move away from 3 and 2 Litre juices to juice in smaller pack formats, and the second is that consumers want more craft and specialty juices. As we move forward, it’s important that we are best set up to ensure we are agile and can easily adapt to the changing needs of the market,” Ms England said.

“This significant investment highlights our belief in the juice industry and the focused approach we are taking to this market, consistent with our business turnaround plans. We are excited about the future. We will continue to target the high-value fresh juice category, fruit and vegetable juice blends and other key non-alcoholic ready to drink categories, where we believe we can sustain profitability and category growth over the long term for the benefit of our business, growers, customers, distributors and other stakeholders,” she said.

ABOUT THE DAILY DRINKS Co.

The Daily Drinks Co. is part of the Lion Dairy & Drinks business which is owned by Lion.

Lion is a leading beverage and food company with a portfolio that includes many of our region’s favourite brands.

We employ more than 6,700 people across Australia and New Zealand predominantly and take great pride in our local manufacturing footprint, which spans 34 sites – including juice, milk, cheese, yoghurt sites, dairy farms, large breweries, craft breweries, wineries as well as venues and over 40 Liquor King retail outlets in New Zealand.

Lion is a company focused on long-term, sustainable growth. We have a clear ten year strategy to transform our dairy and juice businesses and champion the nutritional credentials of our portfolio, reinvigorate our beer markets and contribute to vibrant and responsible drinking cultures; and build our presence in high-value categories in targeted Asian markets. To achieve this we invest in our core strategic assets – our people, brands, production facilities and supply chain.

For more information:

Elise Gare

External Relations Director, Lion Dairy & Drinks

Phone: +61 437 306 437

elise.gare@lionco.com