By James Wells

Diageo claims falling alcohol consumption and high excise on RTDs and spirits are the main reasons it will relocate Bundaberg Rum bottling from its spiritual home in Queensland to existing company facilities in western Sydney.

In a statement supplied to TheShout, a Diageo spokesperson said the broad restructure announced during business hours on Thursday 15 May was “aimed at delivering greater efficiency with a simpler structure and a more sustainable cost base”.

“This decision comes in response to the continued pressure on our business from lower alcohol consumption and the punitive excise tax on spirits and RTDs which has seen volumes decline significantly in recent years," the spokesperson said.

When Diageo was asked to provide specific references to statistics to support this reasoning, the company said: "Volumes have declined in line with RTD declines since [the excise] tax was increased in 2008".

Diageo confirmed it will continue to operate the Bundaberg Distillery and the hand-crafted Master Distillers Collection (MDC) will continue to be bottled at the Queensland factory.

“The Bundaberg Distilling Company remains an integral part of the Diageo Australia business and we will continue to distil, mature and blend rum at the distillery as we have done for the last 125 years,” the spokesperson said.

“We will also continue to invest in the distillery and visitors centre, which attracts more than 80,000 visitors each year to the Bundaberg region.”

A total of 35 employees will leave the business under the changes announced yesterday.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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