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Lori Levy
Beer Institute

Beer Institute's Meeting Brings Brewers, Suppliers Together

Washington, D.C., December 14, 2000 - Suppliers to the brewing industry help brewers purchase more than $850 million in agricultural commodities, employ more than 830,000 American workers, pay more than $14 billion wages and contribute more than $57 billion in retail sales, according to Beer Institute's Economic Contribution Study.

The organization held its Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida -- its first meeting in more than five years -- for members of the brewing industry and their supplier partners to work towards maintaining a progressive business environment for the industry in the coming years. Suppliers to the industry participated in a panel that focused on issues affecting both the brewing and supplier tiers.

The theme heard in all the presentations was the need for unity and leadership in the coming decade. With U.S. populations and demographics expected to change in the next 10 years, millions of young adults will reach the legal drinking age by 2010 - an event that could significantly affect the brewing industry and its supplier partners.

For example, agricultural suppliers and brewers rely on each other for the production of beer. Malt - an integral part of the brewing process -- is what Gabriel Pujol, President, Froedtert Malt/Div. International Malting Company, LLC, calls, 'the soul of beer.' He told members of Beer Institute's annual meeting that he and brewers have a 'special relationship' and are 'members of the same team.'

The brewing industry is also extremely important to the U.S. rice industry. With nearly 18 percent of domestic rice sales going toward the production of beer, Richard Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Riceland Foods, said the rice industry, "wants to do our part in enhancing the brewers' interests."

With more than 90 percent of all beer shipped in bottles and cans, packaging suppliers enjoy a healthy and prosperous relationship with the brewing industry. Jim Gorski, Vice-President, Sales, Closure Division, Silgan Containers Corporation, urged companies "to set aside competitive differences to show industry unity as everyone strives for a common purpose."

And David Hoover, President, Vice Chairman and COO of Ball Corporation, noted that the beer and can industries have a long and mutually beneficial relationship, and said, "The can industry wants to support the brewing industry in issues of importance."

Brewers and their suppliers have a special relationship - one of loyalty and service, which was noted by Marla Jeffrey, president, A. Gusmer Company. Her company has been serving the brewing industry for more than 75 years and is able to "expedite solutions to customer and industry needs based on our technical knowledge of products, coupled with our understanding of brewing applications."

And with more than 2600 malt beverage brands, 1800 domestic breweries, and shipments expected to exceed 198 million barrels by the end of 2000, the suppliers' role is as important as ever to the brewing industry. Jeff Becker, president, Beer Institute, said, "As the brewing industry is poised for a fifth consecutive year of growth, it is important for all industries involved in the brewing process to work together to move forward.


Beer Institute, established in 1986, is the national trade association for the brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers. The Institute is committed to development of sound public policy and to the values of civic duty and personal responsibility.

A. Gusmer Co. distributes beverage production supplies and equipment for all types of beverages, with special focus on brewing. It is a division of Gusmer Enterprises, Inc., which serves customers worldwide through its distribution of beverage production supplies and equipment, as well as its production of filter media and absorbent materials.

Ball Corporation is the largest manufacturer of recyclable aluminum beverage cans in North America and one of the larger in the world. Ball operates 20 beverage can and end manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The factories have an annual production capacity in excess of 35 billion cans and employ more than 4,500 people.

Froedtert Malt is the largest manufacturer of brewers malt in the U.S. and is a part of International Malting Company, on of the largest in the world. Froedtert operates four plants in the Midwest and sources about 80% of its barley needs from U.S. growing areas. Froedtert counts among its customers the major brewers of North America.

Riceland Foods provides marketing services for rice, soybeans, and wheat grown by its 8,000 farmer-members in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. Each year, its 1,800 employees receive, store, transport and market more than 100 million bushels of grain

Silgan Containers Corporation is the largest supplier of metal containers for food products, a leading supplier of plastic containers and plastic closures for food and personal care products, and a large supplier of metal closures for the food and beverage markets. The company operates 69 manufacturing plants in the U.S., with sales in excess of $1.8 billion in 1999.


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