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BBC RADIO 4 TODAY Programme Radio 4 Today Programme Logo
November 3, 2006
8:40 am

The issue of Greene King removing Harveys from the Lewes Arms was raised on the BBC Radio 4's TODAY programme this morning. After talking to Lewes Mayor Merlin Milner, the interviewer talked to Mark Angela, Managing Director of Greene King, who had the following to say:

TODAY: Are you still going to persist with this course of action ?

Mark Angela: First of all, just to make the point, you're talking to a cask ale drinker and I'm passionate about it as obviously the people in Lewes are. I applaud the passion because that's what it's all about. But at the end of the day Greene King actually invest more in cask ale than any other brewer. We've actually got 20 of our own cask ale products in our range and we would like to be selling frankly more of our own beer in our own pubs and offering a choice at the same time.

TODAY: What about this accusation of corporate homogenisation. Can't you make an exception, isn't this a special case ?

MA: Well in fact we do have quite a wide range of guest beers in quite a number of our pubs across the country and in terms of ... listening to our customers we wouldn't be in this business and have a pretty decent track record of success unless we did that.

TODAY: So why not make Harveys a guest beer in the Lewes Arms then?

MA: Well its interesting because I don't think anybody's ruled that out. There's been a lot of noise about the fact that we are withdrawing Harveys but as I said we do have quite a range of guest beers in pubs and its interesting that (pause) we'd be more than willing to consider it.

TODAY: So you'd reconsider it. If, for instance, Harveys would consider your beer as a guest beer in their pubs you could reconsider this decision.

MA: As I said we'd like to sell more of our beer in our pubs as Harveys do themselves. In fact Harveys actually don't sell any of our beers in their pubs. So the door's always open. We're taking the decision because we believe its right for the business but, as I said, we have a range of guest ales as part of the programme, so we wouldn't ever rule it out in the future.

TODAY: Maybe there's a solution there, who knows

MA: There may just be.

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