A word from our CEO as we close out 2022

A word from our CEO as we close out 2022

November 23, 2022
Georgia Lennon

For the Drinks Association and its Board, there is a great sense of relief and excitement as we close out 2022. We continue to see the on-premise sector recover and we look to Christmas with a great sense of optimism.

No business in the Australian drinks industry has gone untouched by the extraordinary times of the past two years. And the challenges continue with supply chain uncertainty, inflation and COVID ongoing.

But this holiday season, many will feel great relief at being able to travel overseas to see family for the first time in years and the fact that we can gather around the Christmas table without restrictions – and hopefully less sickness - will be appreciated by many.

Our industry proved to be amazingly resilient through the height of COVID and we can all feel proud of how we continue to move through these uncertain times.

In July, the Drinks Association and the industry gathered in person to celebrate the tenth annual Australian Drinks Awards. It’s been a decade of Advantage Australia being commissioned to conduct its Engagement Program for the industry, a decade of celebrating the best performing brands in the Australian market and its best performing suppliers.

For the first time, Accolade Wines won the Supplier of the Year Award and it also tied first to share the Supply Chain Management Award with Australian Vintage Limited. Carlton & United Breweries won the Category Management Award while Brown Family Wine Group was awarded Most Improved Supplier of the Year.

Thirty-six brands were recognised as Australia’s fan favourites and those gaining most in popularity, as determined via research undertaken by Thrive Insights, and three Contribution to Industry Awards were given to Taylors Wines, Bacardi-Martini and Treasury Wine Estates.

These awards are especially significant. They represent an industry that innovates, that is ambitious to operate more sustainably, to conduct itself fairly and to move the dial when it comes to improving equity, diversity and inclusion.

The Drinks Association continues its commitment to advancing the Australian drinks industry as a destination of choice for jobseekers, continuing the evolution of diversity, inclusivity and equity with the great support from the Embrace Difference Council.

The Council is led by Chair Sandra Gibbs from Asahi Beverages with Lion’s Sarah Abbott leading the See Difference workstream (primarily concerned with the development and updating of the industry Scorecard and Toolkit) and Campari’s Stephanie Shedden leading the Create Difference workstream (primarily concerned with running events, including International Women’s Day and the return of the State Chapter events).

My great thanks to these leaders and their workstreams who continue to give of their time to support the improvement of the industry as a whole.

From all of us at the Drinks Association, best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Drinks Association will take a break over the holiday period from Friday, 23 December. We will re-open on Wednesday, 4 January.

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