Vailima Breweries breakthrough in terms of exports to the United States market was officially launched at Orator Hotel on Wednesday night.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi congratulated Samoa Breweries.
“Tonight we have come together to launch ‘The Taste of Samoa’ Vailima beer, the first of many export shipments on its way to the West Coast of the U.S.A. and will become available in Hawaii, California and Washington States, thanks to the supply and distribution agreement between Samoa Breweries Limited and U.S. based importation and distribution company, Foredrinks L.L.C.,” Tuilaepa said.
He recalled 40 years ago, the government of Samoa, in partnership with Brauhause of Germany and local Samoan shareholders, provided strategic capital investment and technical expertise to build a brewery and launch Samoa’s very own beer – Vailima.
“Samoa Breweries Limited is now ranked as one of Samoa’s largest exporters.
“This investment also provides the platform for import substitution and employment creation for the people of Samoa.
“Aside from manufacturing and packaging Vailima beer products, the company is also an authorised Coca Cola bottler providing Samoa with a global iconic carbonated soft drinks brand Coca Cola since the early 1980’s.
“I look forward to future developments with this exciting venture, which I am confident, will prosper and continue to ensure the financial stability to the Samoan families.”
International Sales Manager – Alcohol & Coffee of the Coca Cola Amatil, Heath Baker said a dream has now come to reality.
“About two and a half years ago I came to Samoa to help the Samoa Breweries team with their strategic direction for the future,” Mr. Baker said.
“I knew very little about this country, its culture people or the brands, just a palagi who was keen to learn and wanted to help.
“I stand here now immensely proud of what we as a team have accomplished, in fact team work is probably like every family, we have all played our roles.
“We are truly humbled tonight as we sit here and pass on the custodianship of our baby, Vailima to our new friend and our new partners, Mauala King and the O.D.O.M. Corporation.
“Entering into a market like the United States of America is not something you can do overnight and in fact it is nearly 12 months to the date when George and I first met you, Mauala, and I am very happy that we sit here now with the plans you have.
“We know that we start with a focus on ensuring that every time a bottle of Vailima is opened, the Taste of Samoa, that piece of home comes back into the heart and minds of its people.”
Foredrinks L.L.C. representative in Samoa, Mauala King said they look forward to working together with Samoa Beverages in the future.
Paradise Beverages General Manager, Mike Spencer, who spoke on behalf of Vailima Brewery, said Paradise Beverages and Coca Cola Amatil - Alcohol & Coffee thank the government for being part of the special event and their support in exporting Vailima to the U.S.A.
“This year, Vailima Brewery celebrates its 40th anniversary,” Mike said.
“We started out back in 1978 supplying Vailima beer to the local Samoan market.
“Overtime, we started to penetrate the international markets and we currently export to a number of countries including American Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.
“The main strategy here is to take Samoan beer to the Samoans.”
He believes the opportunity that Samoa has now in the U.S.A. could boost international sales and if sales projection are realised, it will result in further capital expenditure and more jobs at Vailima Brewery.
“This is not about standing up in the U.S.A. market to compete with the Corona’s and the Budweiser’s of the world.
“This is about taking a piece of home to our Samoan people residing in the Western Seaboard of the U.S.A. and Hawaii.
“We at Paradise Beverages are extremely proud of this accomplishment and Vailima will now rightfully be added to the growing list of our world class brands entering international markets such as Fiji Bitter, Fiji Gold, Vonu and the Rum Co. of Fiji.
“Mr. King, thank you for your belief in us and we are looking forward to expanding our relationship with you and our footprint in the United States.”
Samoa Breweries Limited has continued to provide employment to people over the past 40 years.