“We have already produced enough references in our plant for the Spanish market and soon we think that we will be able to attract production to other countries in Europe,” said CCPE’s Vice President and Director for Portugal.
“I cannot identify the brands nor the countries, but in the middle of the year we expect to produce for other countries outside the Iberian Peninsula,” the official added.
“Bearing in mind that the issue of logistics and transportation is very important in terms of business, bypassing the Iberian Peninsula means that there is indeed capacity and added local value and this fills us with pride,” emphasized Roy Serpa, noting that “the diversity of the plant unit is very important.
He explained that the Coca-Cola plant in Azeitao employs about 200 people, has eight production lines, and produces “more than 250 million liters of products annually.”
“We have been referred to as one of the factories of the industrial network of Coca-Cola’s European partners – we are talking about Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands – which also operates as ‘support to other countries,’” he said, adding that “that means competitiveness and efficiency” of Unit side.
At Azeitão “We produce 90% of everything we sell in Portugal” and not just “100%” because there are “more specific products that require different production and this is done in this network of factories that we have at the Iberian level”, he explains.
Since the beginning of March, the Azeitão plant began producing Fanta Guaraná, an exclusive product of Portugal, being “the only country in Europe with this flavor”, which stems from Coca-Cola’s bet on innovation and has already sold 300,000 liters.
“The reason for the launch is primarily across our entire innovation strategy, and above all, for the impact it might have on our business and on the dynamics of our customers,” the official said.
He stressed that “product launches in times of crisis and exit against the meter also represent an opportunity.”
In 2018, the company announced an investment of 10 million euros in the plant by 2023.
In response to a question about this, he said: “We are in size in the medium and long term and to produce the current quantities that we produce, and for this reason, we did not have to make additional investment” in the plant to produce Fanta Guarana. .
The investment in Guaraná investment is divided into three parts: product development, marketing and sales, but the CCPE has not provided the sums.
In response to a question about whether there is a possibility, if the product is successful, to be exported to the countries of the Portuguese diaspora, Rui Serpa said: “In the end.”
Regarding the sales development in Portugal last year, which has been affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, the official said there has been a decrease of “15% of sales volume”.
He commented, “It was a reflection of the trend that we brought in, of the consecutive growth of more than five years, which was very positive and above the industry average.”
“Because we are a company with a large component selling our products on the HoReCa Channel [Hotéis, Restaurantes, Cafés]”Of course, we were affected,” he added, noting that the beginning of this year was also “difficult” due to the closure of restoration work.
In the production line, glass and tin were the most affected, as they suffered a “significant drop in velocity”, in contrast to those sold in modern distribution (supermarkets and hypermarkets).
“We had a great interest in people from the beginning, not only in everything related to health and protection, but also the time that it took us to make an important decision that was not the best economically for the company, but the best and most importantly. We do not resort to any available form, which is “layoff”.
With the pandemic, temporary employment, which originates in peak periods such as summer, has yet to occur.
In addition, the CCPE awarded prizes of up to 500 euros per month to production and commercial employees who continued to work face-to-face because their job did not allow remote work.
In addition to the 400 direct jobs, Coca-Cola estimates that 8,400 indirect jobs result from its activity, with “for every euro of product” the brand purchased in the Portuguese market, about 85 cents remaining in the local economy.
“Our impact on the Portuguese economy is estimated at 418 million euros, which represents 0.2% of the GDP [Produto Interno Bruto] Portuguese, “he concluded.