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The Hon Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi accompanied by Mr Louis A Farrugia, CEO - Farsons Group, and other senior company officials on a tour of the new soft drinks packaging hall


During a visit to Farsons Brewery by the Hon Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, Simonds Farsons Cisk plc announced today that a major investment in two capital projects is nearing completion. The Lm10.5 million investment, included the construction of a new Packaging Centre for Soft-drinks and a new Logistics Centre.

The announcement was made by Farsons Group Chief Executive, Mr Louis A Farrugia. Farsons Chairman, Mr Bryan A Gera, Vice-Chairman, Mr Vincent Curmi, and senior company officials were also present to welcome the Prime Minister.

Mr Farrugia said: “The aim of this investment is to increase efficiency, to continue improving the quality of our product, enhance service to trade, and to prepare for the complete liberalisation of the soft drinks market in January 2008.”

“Farsons has always been committed to ensuring that it is equipped with the most modern plant in order for it to be able to offer the best quality products efficiently and respect the environment as much as possible. The Company has also always striven to ensure that it has professional management and well trained staff,” said Mr Farrugia.

This has helped the Company in the last 78 years of its history not only to manage to overcome the challenges it faced, which were many, but also to ensure that its products remained among the most popular choices for consumers.

“Farsons products are regarded as among the best Maltese products.  This is not only due to the fact that the Company always focused on quality but also on making sure that its prices are competitive. Not only consumers, but also small investors showed their trust in the Company whenever we offered shares or bonds to the public. This has further encouraged us and, while we understand that this places upon us a great responsibility, it also helps us to continue working hard to advance our industry even further,” added Mr Farrugia.

Completed on time and on budget

Construction works on the new projects started in Spring 2005. Both projects were completed on time and on budget. The two projects were implemented by a Project Team consisting of members of the Company’s Management Team and assisted by consultants.

Significant investment in human capital

These two projects entailed a significant investment in new technology that demands new skills from Farsons employees. Farsons has always provided continuous training so that employees become more familiar with any new technology that is introduced. Even in this case, Farsons has embarked on the necessary training programme in collaboration with the Unions who represent its employees.

At present, the Farsons Group employs 850 full time equivalents. 

New Softdrinks Packaging Centre

The Soft Drinks Line is capable of producing carbonated soft drinks, beer and beer mixers and both still and carbonated water. It can handle 50cl bottles at speeds of 18,000 bottles per hour.

Key equipment in the Soft Drinks Line include a bottle blowing machine, rinser and filler, a mixer carbonator complete with chiller, 3 palletising machines, and a conveyor to the new Logistics Centre.

New Logistics Centre

The key principle in the entire design of the Logistics Centre was to store the products in the right ambience at the right temperature and ensure a constant flow of products in and out of the Centre with adequate marshalling space. This Logistics Centre is replacing the five depots located around Malta and also incorporates the Wands operation.

This Logistics Centre has a fully computerised Warehouse Management System.  This allows bulk breaking and direct dispatch to trade. The pallet conveyor is directly fed from the production areas. It has 11,000 pallet positions, a cooled area for beer at 21Cº, and seven levels of high bay racking.

An allocated area, measuring 1,000sqm of storage 7 metres high, will cater specifically for Wands’ wines and spirits. The spirits will be stored at ambient temperature while wines will be stored at 15Cº. The facility is HACCP and ISO9001 approved.

Eco Friendly Measures

Particular attention has been given to environmental aspects. All structures are insulated and a building management system allows full control so as to optimise energy use. Heat exchangers have been installed to allow energy recovery during air circulation, and energy efficient lights were fitted where possible. Fork lift trucks operate with a battery regeneration system, and new trucks meet Euro4 emission standards. While solar heating will be employed for non-industrial hot water, all rain water from the site will be collected.

“We thank all our stakeholders: management, employees, unions, shareholders, consumers and Government for understanding that these projects will be strengthening the Company’s position. They will enable us to meet the challenges of a completely liberalised market and serve to help the Company’s endeavours in further substituting importation for the benefit of our shareholders and employees, and finally the Maltese economy itself. The quality of our products will continue to improve and therefore we are now in a much better position to compete with high quality products from other European countries,” said Farsons Group Chief Executive.