Haiti On The Come Up? Heineken Pours $100M Into Haiti Brewery

April 7, 2014  |  

Haitian President Michel Martelly with celebrating sports fans in Haiti this fall. via @MichelJMartelly

Heineken is in the suds in Haiti. The Dutch beer maker is pouring $100 million into Haiti to boost its production plant there that brews the popular lager Prestige.

What makes this news so significant is that many foreign companies have shied away from investing in Haiti due to its instability.

Heineken is willing to take the risk. According to Jose Matthijsse, general director of the National Brewery of Haiti (which is owned by Heineken), the company is investing more due to improvements made under the current government.

“Heineken purchased the Haitian brewery in 2011, and owns 95 percent of the company that produces Prestige. The remaining 5 percent is held by Diageo Ireland, the company that makes Guinness stout,” reports USA Today.

The new investment is already being used. Nearly one-fifth has gone toward construction of a second 24,300-square-foot production line that opened in December in the same Port-au-Prince facility. Because of this, 40,000 more cases of Prestige and other beverages can be produced daily.

The brewery has able been able to debut a 16-ounce bottle of Prestige due to the new production line.

The remaining money will go to increasing lager production, manufacturing more bottles and purchasing necessary items such as trucks and generators.

Prior to this, production had been limited. When customers buy the lager in bulk (since it’s cheaper) there is a delay in the return of bottles for deposit. The company recycles the bottles. But due to the return delay, there had been a limit on the number of containers that are available. With the new production line, this is no longer the case.

“All Haitians know that at times their favorite beer, Prestige, is not available for consumption,” Matthijsse said. “And that has been a frustration over the past years … So it was about time that the capacity be increased.”

Moreover, it’s about time that we hear some positive news from this island nation, which has gone through so much.

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