By James Atkinson

Diageo Australia has ended its eight-year relationship with on-premise training and activations agency Behind Bars following a competitive tender.

Sweet & Chilli has been confirmed as Diageo's new on-premise agency.

A Diageo spokesperson said the review process for the new contract included a request for proposal from several prospective suppliers "for a fair and equitable market comparison". 

"As standard practice and in line with our global supplier review procedures, we periodically assess our contracts with our partners to ensure service levels remain competitive with the market," she said.

Based on the outcomes of the review, the spokesperson said Diageo will start working with the new provider in the coming financial year. It will formally conclude its relationship with Behind Bars on September 13. 

"We would like to thank the team at Behind Bars for their commitment and services over the past eight years," she said.

A total of 28 Behind Bars staff – including 20 full-time employees and eight part-time trainers – have been informed they will lose their jobs as a result of the switch.

Founder Sven Almenning could not be contacted for comment.

The UK-founded Sweet & Chilli has only been in Australia for two years and will need to ramp up its fledgling operations considerably in order to cater for the new contract.

Sweet & Chilli's Cameron Northway declined to comment.

The Shout Team

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

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