News briefs: Portuguese beer, P&G and metric measures

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Diageo

This week's news brief finds Portugal's largest brewer having to
close a plant, Procter and Gamble possibly going off coffee and
another victory in the
battle against forcing metric measurements.

Metric measurement calls shot down ​The Europe Court of Justice has today ruled in favour of beverage manufacturers like Diageo in their battle to keep selling it products in imperial unit measurements specific to the UK and Irish markets, according to news sources. The case had been bought forward by the German spirits industry, which was unhappy with Diageo's decision to sell smaller bottles of its Bailey's Irish crème brand that contravened continental rulings on using metric spirits measurements. However, the court ruled that as long as volumes were correctly labelled on a bottle, preventing the sale of the product would serve to noly restrict trade between EU member states. The decision comes on the back of last month's ruling by the European commission to allow British and Irish consumers to continuing drinking pints of beer, preventing the possible financial impacts on brewers of implementing the changes. Portugal's Unicer restructures breweries ​ Unicer, Portugal's largest brewer, yesterday announced the closure of one of its three production plants in the country as part of a drive for improved cost efficiency. The group said that the closure of the 400.000 hl capacity plant in Loulé would reduce its total output by about seven per cent, affecting 65 employees in the process. Unicer will instead rely on its two existing plants Santarém and Leça do Balio, which it believes are capable of meeting its future production needs. With the group increasingly reliant on the European export market to boost its sales, Unicer claims that these two sites will serve this market much more cost effectively. Procter and Gamble may consider coffee divestment ​Food and beverage group Procter and Gamble (P&G) could be set to offload its coffee operations as part of a wider shake up of its operations, news reports have suggested this week. Unnamed sources close to the company have suggested that the group has hired the Blackstone Group to advise on a sale of its coffee businesses to focus on higher margin healthcare goods, according to a report in The Financial Times newspaper. P&G's produces both the Folgers and Millstone coffee brands, which the report adds post combined sales of over $1bn.

Related topics: Markets, Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cider

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