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Bacardi donates $1m to Ukraine

Family-owned Bacardi has donated US$1 million to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, and suspended exports and frozen advertising investments in Russia.

Bacardi rum range
Bacardi has paused exports to Russia and frozen its advertising activity in the country

Bacardi’s US$1m donation has been given to Red Cross and Mercy Corps to support humanitarian work on the ground, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The money will be used to help distribute food, medicine and critical care items. It will also be used for first aid training, to help reunite separated families, emergency cash, plus other resources and networks to help those in need.

In a statement, the group said: “At Bacardi Limited, our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people, especially those directly affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“We are supporting our people in Ukraine with resources and services necessary during this time of great need.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered troops to invade Russia on 24 February.

Bacardi joins a number of leading drinks companies that have stopped sales in Russia.

Diageo, Brown-Forman, Pernod Ricard and Edrington have all suspended sales in Russia in response to the war in Ukraine.

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo has also stopped exports to Ukraine because of the war.

A spokesperson said: “Our priority is the safety of our people in Ukraine and the wider region. We have paused the export of our products to Ukraine and Russia while we focus on supporting our employees.”

Earlier this month, The Spirits Business spoke with the CEO of Ukrainian vodka Nemiroff, Yuriy Sorochynskiy, about the atrocities and challenges facing the nation since the start of the war.

The war has prompted several brands to change their strategies. Halewood Artisanal Spirits moved production of its JJ Whitley vodka back to England, just two years after it opened a multi-million-pound distillery for the brand in Russia.

Furthermore, supermarkets across the UK, including Tesco and Morrisons, have removed Russian vodka from shelves in support of Ukraine.

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