Today we have some news to share … with a pounding heart and a lump in our throat, the founding families have decided to hand the custodianship of Fermentum (and its family of businesses – including Stone & Wood) over to Lion.
As a founder of a business, from day one you know that at some point down the road you will have to hand it over to someone else. Earlier this year, we realised that we were approaching a major milestone in the development of Stone & Wood where we knew it was time to build a new brewery.
After many months of working through how we were going to begin the next chapter in our story the founding families decided it might be time to see if there was a custodian for the business who could grow the legacy, its people, its culture, its brands, and continue to drive the business whilst staying true to its purpose.
We also looked for a custodian who would be committed to building the brewery, employment of the team, use of key local suppliers, to support our work in the community and importantly a focus on beer quality to match our own. Not only did Lion welcome these ideas with enthusiasm, but on top of that they demonstrated they had similar values and a focus on environmental and social governance aligned to our approach to using Beer as a Force for Good.
For us, to ensure the continued support of our communities has meant we have stayed true to our holistic total stakeholder approach through this transition.
The team (by way of their ownership) is getting a good reward for the value they have created and Lion have committed to their on-going employment.
The community is benefiting from the on-going role of the inGrained Foundation and the large boost to its funding through a $5 million donation; a $1 million donation to Big Scrub Landcare that will contribute to the regeneration of the lost rainforest and the new brewery, which will be a large investment in the local economy, supporting construction jobs and on-going jobs in the region.
It is a day that is filled with so many mixed emotions – excitement, sadness, anxiety, and pride to name a few, and we know that whilst some people will be happy for us, and some will have a sense of loss, we take great comfort in knowing that we are handing the business over to a custodian that will maintain the Stone & Wood truth that – Good Beer is Our Thing.
Jamie, Brad & Ross