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Three contract filling companies, hailing from Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia, have combined to form Sanector, a company with extensive beverage packaging capability.

The onset of the pandemic has heightened consumer focus on health, wellness, and environmental sustainability. Responding to this shift, many industries, including contract bottling and filling businesses, are reviewing and in some cases, reinventing how they produce, source, operate and, overall, offer and deliver goods to their customers.

For the San Miguel Yamamura Australasia (SMYA) group, this was certainly the case. Beyond developing the environmental potential and performance of the bottling and filling businesses across the group, an opportunity to expand the group’s dedication to the wine and beverage industries was recently raised, reviewed, and embraced.

The result? As of 1 April, three businesses have come together as one, and are forging their future under a new brand name.

Portavin Integrated Wine Services was established 30 years ago in Western Australia, pioneering mobile bottling for the state’s rapidly expanding wine industry. Best Bottlers commenced operations 20 years ago in Mildura, Victoria, becoming one of the first bottling establishments to service the profitable and strategic Sunraysia region. Barossa Bottling started operations 25 years ago, initially in Stockwell, South Australia, surrounded by the area’s lush valleys and targeting the elite and exclusive wine makers of the Barossa Valley.

Ross Sinclair, SMYA’s COO, says for decades, Portavin, Barossa and Best have moulded and developed their distinctive market approaches, which in turn led them to establish and maintain the loyalty of more than 1000 wine and beverage brands.

“Through years of developing strategic synergies across the three businesses the group realised the opportunities an alliance would bring to the table, including the broad geographical footprint, the consolidated 50 years’ experience in the industry, and the skills across different bottling capabilities,” Sinclair says.

For SMYA, taking the next step to consolidate the strengths and core competencies of the three bottlers is a vital move for the group to grow its operations and deliver value to its customers and stakeholders.

SMYA says the merger delivers crucial value propositions to the industry. Firstly, the footprint across four states will have a positive impact on customers’ costs, target strategies and carbon footprint reduction, including transport and market reach.

Secondly, customers now have access to the group’s expanded bottling capabilities.

On the bottle filling side, these include 14 lines specialising in 187ml PET, 187ml glass through 27 litres in still and sparkling, which includes a new sparkling line available at the recently revamped site at Nuriootpa, SA for Barossa Bottling Services. On the can filling side, there is also one canning line at Best Bottlers in Mildura, which has been operating since the start of 2021, running at speeds of 200 cans per minute.

And thirdly, with the three businesses having 10 food and safety standard certifications under their collective belt, customers have the quality assurances they require.

With these three weighty propositions, SMYA says it believes the new filling amalgamation is starting the journey with the right foot forward.

“This year marks another key steppingstone of the group’s story line,” Sinclair says. “Great work has been done for the last 18-plus months to ensure a proper foundation is established, and to minimise uncertainties across our operational sites. The skills are there, the intelligence is there, and the journey is about to begin.”

WHAT’S IN A NAME

Sanector, the merged entity’s new name, “sounds, suggests, and confirms, trust and experience”, according to SMYA, noting that the group was seeking a name that “must cut through and be strong while also having the ability to be memorable”.

The brand name references the origin of San Miguel Corporation from the Philippines and Japan’s Nihon Yamamura. San means three in Japanese, signifying the merger of three businesses into one strong brand, the company says.

“The blending of three companies into one is a key element of the backstory, it corroborates our footing and our essence,” the company says. The name alludes also to connection, with Sanector being a “facilitator between the creators and the consumers”.

“One brand. One voice. One story. The strategy around a centralised brand storytelling allows for long term brand building, solidifying every aspect of our operational core, enabling sales growth and additional eco-potential by continuing to invest in state-of-the-art sustainable filling equipment,” Sinclair says.

“The industry is in need of a connector, an everyman worker that is open and ready to nurture both sides of a relationship between creators and consumers,” he adds.

“Sanector is a project born with empathy and a humane approach to ensure its problem-solving skills and innovative techniques provide the collaboration needed to ensure efficiency and great results.”

This article was first published in the March-April 2022 print issue of PKN Packaging News, p30.

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