One fairly large craft brewery recently fired their purchasing agent. From what I hear, it sounds like it was an internal political battle. It seems there was infighting between some of the people in the organization. They used the fact that the brewery had purchased more hops than it needed as an excuse to let that person go.
Firing that person might have felt like a victory to the people who “won”, but it was not a victory at all. The hop industry is built on relationships. We, and many of our competitors, had a great relationship with that person who was fired. In fact, it’s the person I wrote about in the fairy tale a week or so ago. Now somebody from that brewery, with whom we have no working relationship, reached out to us to renegotiate their contracts. Since it’s a big brewery, they are asking us to figure out how we can solve their problems. We’re not inclined to help. We’re actually fine the way things are but have told them that we’d be willing to review any reasonable offers they might want to send our way.
It’s amazing to think that relationships, something so intangible, can have such a quantifiable affect on a business.