PNG’s leading alcohol producer, South Pacific Brewery is reducing the number of its workforce as COVID-19 continues to impact the company’s economy and operations.
The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Ed Weggemans, said since January this year SP Brewery has begun a redundancy program which will see a reduction of their employees by 20%.
“This will have a ripple effect on many families in the community. We also anticipate that many other manufacturers, suppliers and customers are also downsizing their organization to cut down on costs relative to productivity.”
SP Brewery has 2,682 licensed customers throughout Papua New Guinea that sell its products and restrictions in place will result in the closure of 2,228 of their outlets nation-wide.
This will also result in 75% of SME customers affected.
SP Brewery is equally concerned that the continued liquor restriction as part of the COVID-19 measures, is forcing consumers into illicit trade and the consumption of homebrew, while the government loses out on income as a result of the licit trade.
Managing Director, Mr. Ed Weggemans said homebrew such as steam can have devastating effects on the consumer.
“The production methods are extremely unsafe and the production process produces a product with an undefined alcoholic content, which in some cases causes blindness over time or acute organ failure in other cases.”
Meanwhile, the illicit alcohol operators are thriving during the liquor restrictions as these present the ideal opportunity for uncontested sales.