Skol production hitch leads to beer shortage in market

Sunday October 21 2018

Skol

Production hitches have resulted in a shortage of Skol beer on the market. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By RODRIGUE RWIRAHIRA
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Production hitches at Skol Breweries plant have resulted in a shortage of beer on the market.

Skol Breweries, a company which is owned by Belgium Unibra, is expanding its production line as it seeks to capture more market and meet the growing beer demand in Rwanda.

A mini survey by Rwanda Today in upcountry and parts of Kigali shows that several retailers and distributors had run out of stock.

Skol managment, however, said not a lot has been at stake and that a second production line, which is under construction, is expected to double the production and meet the growing demand.

“We had a production halt last September, because one of our machines had worrying glitch and the management decided to break production but that was only for three days and we eventually had it fixed and business resumed,” said Tite Gatabazi, who in charge of Skol general services and public affairs.

“We may still be trying to cover the gap occasioned by those three days at the supply level, but that slowdown does not entirely translate to such a big gap of supply like it is said by retailers, owners of sub-warehouses or distributors,” added Mr Gatabazi.

Mr Gatabazi further stated that retailers who did not have access to products are victims of mismanagement by distributors who have taken advantage of that breakdown and spread false information or hiked prices of the products with no justifiable reasons.

“There is no reason why sub-distributors could not have been supplied for the past four months. The machine’s fault happened just last month and before that our supply chain was business as usual,” he added.

But talking to this paper, sub-distributors in Rwamagana district said they started experiencing shortages in March.

“I haven’t been in business for the past seven months. At first, I thought there was a misunderstanding with our distributor who was said to be new, but when I talked to my colleagues in the same business, I learnt that the shortage of supply was common,” said a businessman.

Retailers in Kigali claimed shortage of products like Skol Lager and Skol Gatanu has pushed their clients away while others opted for products like Amstel Malt.