Since Castello di Udine S.p.A. have not “moved in” yet, hence the delay in restarting to pump out the well-known beer. Just a bureaucratic finishing touch, which should take us to the middle of February and we will restart in earnest the production of our internationally-renowned beer. We have received hundreds of orders from beer festival suppliers, from small and large clients, all eager to do business with our brewery, all seriously interested in our brand. (which Heinken somewhat disregarded !). We are very pleased with this newfound interest in Birra Pedavena, say the Trade Union representatives, we are reaping the rewards of sixteen months of endeavour and commitment. During this time, we have involved a large number of people, who supported us in many ways, in our efforts to save the brewery. We have received hundreds of emails and more are coming in every day: purchase orders, suggestions and new ideas how to re-launch the brand and the brewery. We have received emails from the US, from a large contingent of Italians whose origins are from around Pedavena. We intend to reply to each one of them. What’s interesting is these emails come from regions where Birra Pedavena has never been distributed, even when it was under the Luciani management. This means there are endless opportunities for expansion.
We must take this interest in our brand very seriously; we are prepared to work very hard with the new management, to plan a business strategy for growth and development. The new management, who formally introduced themselves on Saturday, is finalising the bureaucratic transition: they should put their signature on the contract of acquisition from Heineken in the next few days and start production soon afterwards. Also, the terms of the contract of employment for the first twenty employees are going to be drafted in the next few weeks (these twenty will be responsible to switch on the machinery at the brewery). For this purpose, a meeting has been called for all employees to discuss the contractual terms and conditions drafted by the new management of Castello di Udine S.p.A. In principle, we are happy with the new agreement, because it safeguards the future of the brewery and its employees, said the Trade Union representatives. Obviously, we feel a little apprehensive because we don’t know yet the contractual terms Castello di Udine S.p.A. is going to outline for the first twenty new employees. Furthermore, we need to find out what is going to happen to an additional 26 staff, whose future at the brewery is not guaranteed. The Unions suggested a meeting with both Heineken, to finalise some of the clauses of the contract signed in Rome, and the new owners. As far as the latter goes, a meeting can only take place after the Pianeta Birra Fair in Rimini, where Castello di Udine S.p.A. has a stand, also to promote the Pedavena brand.
Finally, we have made it ! Heineken has sold Birreria Pedavena to Castello di Udine S.p.A.. The brewery, located in Saint- George-in-Nogaro near Udine, will take over from the Dutch multinational on 1st March, 2006. Initially, it will re-employ 20 of the current 70 staff and 40 more will follow by the end of the year.
This is the outcome of a meeting held yesterday with the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Work Mr Maurizio Sacconi.
The signature of the contract between Heineken and Birra Castello
The transition, which carried on for over fifteen months, when Heineken planned to close the ancient brewery of Pedavena putting to an end a century-long tradition, is now over. Trade Unions and employees started a campaign to save the ancient brewery from closure, seeking support from politicians, public servants and ordinary citizens. In the end, says Roberto Montagner, trade unionist, our efforts have brought us success. It seems that, sometimes, dreams can come true.
The undersecretary Sacconi present the new owner of the brewery to the workers and to the whole community
The Deputy Secretary of the Department of Work, Mr Maurizio Sacconi, is very pleased with the success obtained. He is grateful to all those who have committed to this effort: the politicians, the civil servants and the trade unions. Also, he is thankful to Heineken for acting constructively to guarantee continuity in the production of the ancient beer.
"Despite few obstacles in the way, - says Mr Primo Torresin, Trade Union Secretary for the province of Belluno - we have obtained a great result. The positive ending linked to the Heineken brewery in Pedavena is very important for the local employment and crucial for the economy in the Belluno province. – pronounces the President of the province of Belluno, Mr Sergio Reolon. I am delighted with the result and cannot stop praising the resilience and forward thinking the employees and trade unions have demonstrated during this transition. A special thank you goes to the mayor of Pedavena, Mr Franco Zaetta, for his personal commitment and confidence the production of beer would continue.