Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coca-Cola expands Cebu plant

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

COCA-COLA Bottlers Philippines (CCBP) on Monday inaugurated the expansion of its Cebu plant. A company official said the expansion shows the company’s strong commitment in doing business in the country.

Irial Finan, executive vice-president for The Coca-Cola Company and president of the Bottling Investment Group, said the new extension of the Cebu plant is part of the first phase of the company’s $1 billion investment in the Philippines for the next five years.

“This is a symbol of growth in the Philippines and of our business here,” Finan said.

Finan said the company will spread the investment across the country.

CCBP recently completed their newest and most technologically-advanced mega plant in Misamis Oriental. The firm also expanded their Canlubang plant and transformed it into a “Center for Operational Excellence.”

Upgrading systems

The company also expanded its warehouses and upgraded its tracking and logistic systems.

Finan said expansion projects in the Philippines are the company’s first in Asia. He said the company has been operating in the Philippines for for over 100 years and has built a strong relationship with Filipinos.

CCBP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company based in Atlanta, USA. It operates 23 plants and 47 sales offices across the Philippines, employing over 7,000 employees.

The company expanded in Cebu in 1941. The Cebu plant was the second bottling facility that opened in the country after Manila in 1912. Aside from Cebu, CCBP is also present in other areas in the Visayas like Bacolod, Ilo-ilo, Tagbilaran and Tacloban.

CCBP president and chief executive officer Bill Schultz said the new bottling line added at the Cebu plant is equipped with sophisticated technology that reduces energy consumption and is environment-friendly.

Growing demand

Schultz said they hope that with the new bottling line, the company will increase its production capability to meet the growing demand for their products in the region.

The expansion is also seen to generate employment opportunities in the area. The Cebu plant currently employs 370 associates and 40,000 Cebuano retailers.

Schultz said the company has sustained its market leadership with the growing consumer base in the Philippines.

The Philippine bottling operation is currently among the top ten biggest globally.

When asked about the growing health-conscious market in the country, Schultz said this is also good for them considering that their products also use natural ingredients.

Aside from Coke, the company’s portfolio also includes 14 other “billion-dollar brands” to include beverages, juice and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and coffees.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2012.

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