Paradise Beverages appoints new boss

Mike SpencerParadise Beverages announced Mike Spencer as the new permanent general manager of the South Pacific region’s beverage company.

He was appointed as the acting general manager last October following the departure of Tony Scanlan. Spencer was previously also the head of operations for the soft drinks company.

“I’m absolutely thrilled and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this great business. I was with the business in Fiji between 1993 and 1996 and have never forgotten that experience. My mission is to make Paradise the premier place to work in the region, continue the focus on creating world class beverages that we can enjoy locally and also take globally, and lastly to ensure we make a positive contribution to Fiji and Samoa,” said Spencer.

Having worked with the business since 1986 under ownership of Carlton and United Breweries (CUB), Spencer moved to the newly-named Paradise Beverages when it was purchased by Coca-Cola Amatil in 2012. During the past few years, he has successfully led the business through a transformational agenda, including a full redevelopment of the Suva Brewery to deliver world-class standards in brewing, and supporting the production and creation of an export strategy for the business’ award-winning rum portfolio.

As well as increasing product quality to export standards and increasing rum capacity to meet export sales requirements, Spencer has demonstrated a commitment to developing and mentoring local people to manage the company’s breweries and distillery, and ensure a continued core focus on health, safety and well-being.  He has also been responsible for developing and managing the business’ extensive capital expenditure program, with an investment of F$40 million to date.

With over 35 years’ of brewing and hospitality experience, Spencer started with CUB in 1986 as a senior member of the brewing and production team in New South Wales. During his 17 years with the liquor company, he managed all aspects of operations, including three years spent managing CUB’s brewing operations in Fiji in the mid-1990s and a two-year tenure as head brewer at its largest brewery in Abbotsford, Victoria.

In 2003, he founded Brewtique Pty Ltd, a business focused on providing technical expertise in the production of beer and brewing, along with consultancy of brewery equipment to all breweries in the region, from the smallest microbreweries to the largest brewing companies.

In 2012, Spencer was part of the due diligence team considering the acquisition of Fosters Group Pacific Ltd (Paradise Beverages). Subsequent to this, Coca-Cola Amatil purchased the business and he commenced in his previous role as head of operations.

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