Facing backlash from consumers and civil society groups, including Ukrainian Action in Ireland, Help Ukraine Scotland, the Ukraine Solidarity Project and B4Ukraine, spirits group Pernod Ricard said it stopped exports of all its international brands — including Beefeater gin, Jameson whisky, and Martell cognac — to Russia and also plans to cease the distribution of its portfolio of brands to Russia.
While we welcome the move in the right direction, the company’s statement on ceasing Russia operations raises additional questions which we would like the company to clarify. For example, what do they mean by “assess how to adapt our local organization” and why will it take a few months to get rid of their portfolio?
A spokesperson for Pernod Ricard said they are keeping a “limited team” in the Russian Federation in order to “eventually resume business in the future.”
In light of this information, we strongly urge Pernod Ricard to stand by its commitment to cease business operations in Russia until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored and accountability is imposed for war crimes, crimes against humanity and the destruction of infrastructure. This is the only ethical way to return to Russia.
Given the fact that the head of the Russian state is indicted by the ICC for alleged war crimes, and the rising number of reported human rights abuses and war crimes committed by the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, Pernod Ricard should consider fully exiting Russia so as not to be even indirectly or remotely associated with these crimes.
Pernod Ricard must commit to the enhanced due diligence of their supply chains, intermediaries and partners, to ensure their goods and services do not continue being delivered to Russia without the company’s knowledge or authorisation.
We also ask Pernod Ricard to commit to donating any profits made in Russia in the last year to Ukraine!
We also urge all businesses to follow Pernod’s lead for the sake of their reputation.