High hops for Welsh drinks sector
5 September 2018
Logistics, operations and supply chain management experts from Cardiff University are set to transform practice across the Welsh alcohol industry following a workshop held in The Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.
The Collaborative Operations for Growth (Co-Growth) project, led by Dr Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, aims to identify and model collaborative opportunities for Welsh drinks producers to achieve green and low-investment growth for the sector.
Through a series of focus groups, Dr Rodrigues, alongside colleagues Professor Maneesh Kumar, Dr Maryam Lotfi, Dr Irina Harris, Dr Martin Chorley, Professor Mohamed Naim and Angharad Kearse, will help facilitate co-operation among Welsh brewers, vineyards, juice producers and soft drink businesses through a cluster-based approach.
Dr Rodrigues, Associate Professor in Logistics and Operations Management at Cardiff Business School, said: “This approach will help drinks producers take effective decisions across their portfolio of operations...”
Employing nearly 2,000 people with a turnover of around £816m, the Welsh Drinks Sector makes a valuable contribution to the economy, particularly in parts of rural Wales.
The activities promoted by Co-Growth are expected to generate significant impact for Welsh drinks producers including growth, return on investment, water and energy usage, carbon footprint and productivity.
The workshop, run in collaboration with WRAP Cymru, brought together representatives from five Welsh breweries including Felinfoel, Tomos & Lilford, Wilderness, Leftbank and Brewmonster, as well as BIC Innovation and the Welsh Drinks Cluster to share their experiences of collaboration and how the challenges and risks associated with collaboration might be addressed.
Following an introduction from Dr Rodrigues, presentations followed from Mark Grant, Associate Director at Levercliff Associates.
Mr Grant spoke on behalf of the Welsh Drinks Cluster outlining their progress so far and how they intend to work with the Co-Growth Project Team to deliver on work streams and operational challenges identified by cluster members.
Hugh Jones, Programme Area Manager at circular economy experts WRAP Cymru, followed by detailing the resources they have to offer under their ‘Collaborative Change - Together Stronger’ initiative, particularly in relation to reducing plastic waste.
And Dr Maryam Lotfi concluded the presentations by outlining examples of cluster approaches adopted by micro and small breweries in the USA, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.
The way ahead
The workshop concluded with an interactive session led by Professor Maneesh Kumar. Attendees shared their experiences of collaboration in order to outline project parameters to pave the way ahead.
The Co-Growth project’s first Focus Group will be held at Rhymney Brewery, Blaenavon on the 13 September 2018.
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