As we bring an extraordinary year to a close, it's an opportune time to reflect on the outstanding achievements of our industry.
Over the past 12 months, we've witnessed the profound impact of positive collaboration between suppliers and retailers and the significant strides made in moving the dial on gender equality, inclusivity and diversity, sustainability, and corporate responsibility.
These achievements are what fuel our passion and ongoing commitment towards fostering a united and progressive industry.
In August, the Drinks Association hosted the eleventh annual Australian Drinks Awards at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. We take immense pride in how this event has evolved over the years, becoming the premier platform for honouring excellence in the liquor industry.
This year, Asahi Beverages was particularly victorious, with its two key business divisions securing three of the four coveted Supplier Awards, as determined by our valued partner, Advantage Australia. Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages were jointly crowned 2023 Supplier of the Year, Carlton & United Breweries clinched the Category Management Award for the second consecutive year, while CUB Premium Beverages received the Supply Chain Management Award.
The Most Improved Supplier of the Year was a double win, with William Grant & Sons and Campari making an impressive leap of 31 points in their Advantage Score compared to 2022.
The evening also celebrated the power of strong and distinctive brands and the emergence of innovative newcomers, with 41 brand awards split into two categories: Fan Favourites and those Gaining in Popularity, based on research conducted by Thrive Insights.
This year, we received a record number of outstanding submissions for the three Contribution to Industry Awards. Congratulations to Australian Vintage on its well-deserved recognition in the category of Most Improved Gender Equity and Pernod Ricard Winemakers for creating the Most Inclusive & Diverse Workplace. The Corporate Social Responsibility Award was presented to Lion, just ahead of Coopers Brewery, which received a Highly Commended acknowledgment for its efforts in this space.
These awards hold immense significance as they symbolise our collective efforts to act fairly, drive progress, and ensure that we are paving the way for a bright and promising future as a career destination of choice.
To that end, I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Embrace Difference Council for their dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry. From the spectacular premier event of the year, International Women’s Day, to the launch of Pride in Drinks and State Chapter Events hosted throughout the year, the Embrace Difference Council has consistently paved the way for meaningful conversations, initiatives, and collaborations.
We may be a competitive industry, but we are also unique in our collegiality. This, coupled with your passion, dedication, resilience, and commitment to excellence, is what truly makes our industry remarkable.
So thank you from all of us at the Drinks Association, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a productive and prosperous New Year.
The Drinks Association will take a break over the holiday period from Friday, 22 December. We will re-open on Wednesday, 3 January 2024.