Shareholder wants action to keep iconic beer in Samoa

A shareholder of Samoa Breweries Ltd wants the Samoan government to step in to keep Vailima beer in Samoa.

The company's parent firm recently announced that it was moving production to Fiji with 50 jobs to be affected.

Samoa Breweries Ltd is majority owned by Paradise Beverages Ltd, and general manager Mike Spencer said in a statement it had not taken the decision lightly.

He said Samoa Breweries' commercial viability had steadily declined over the past five years due to a combination of factors including ageing machinery, the impact of the 2019 measles outbreak, followed by the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Muagututi'a Lafaele Ngau Chun is one of over 200 local shareholders of Samoa Breweries which in total own six percent of the company.

Muagututi'a told local media it was disappointing how he received word that the company was shifting to Suva.

He called for Samoa Breweries' external owners to sell the iconic Vailima beer back to the people.

Vailima is advertised as the 'Taste of Samoa' worldwide.

Meanwhile, Fiji Times reports that Vailima will begin operations in Fiji by October.