Pernod Ricard’s R38 million festive season campaign supports SA employment opportunities

Press Release 24/05/2022

Pernod Ricard has partnered with the Gauteng Department of Economic Development to create over 1,000 jobs over the next five years through its new festive season campaign – Phakamisa ispirit

Pernod Ricard invested R38 million into its 2021 festive season campaign, Phakamisa ispirit (lift the spirit). Part of the proceeds from sales over this period will go towards helping local artisans grow their businesses and creating employment opportunities. To ensure longevity and maximum impact, Pernod Ricard has partnered with the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) for the successful roll-out of this project.

When South Africans purchase a bottle of participating brands – Jameson Select Reserve Irish whiskey, Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch whisky, The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Scotch whisky, Chivas Regal 12YO Blended Scotch whisky, and Beefeater London Dry gin - each presented in unique packaging, they will receive a bespoke gift (lemon squeezer, ice mould, or phone speaker amplifier). The gifts are inspired by some of the country’s most gifted makers, who hand-carve wooden furniture and lifestyle items.

Part of the proceeds from every bottle sold will help provide local artisans with SETA-accredited courses covering business management, manufacturing, technology, and accounting, as most artisans do not have formal training. They will also be provided with the resources they need to grow their businesses.

“As a well-established corporate in South Africa, it’s our responsibility to invest in the local economy and our local makers, who are at the heart of the country’s economy. These makers often cannot afford the equipment they need and require training to progress their careers,” says Gregory Leymarie – CEO, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pernod Ricard. “Our Phakamisa ispirit campaign will provide these exceptionally gifted artisans with training, resources, and access to markets to help them grow their businesses and create employment in South Africa.”

The city of Ekurhuleni Municipality has also donated a warehouse in Thokoza that is being converted into a workshop for approximately 20 artisans, which will allow them to share this space, access a range of machinery, and create workshop co-ops for large scale business opportunities. This warehouse will accommodate artisans that work with wood, and makers at the facility will have access to Pernod Ricard and other strategic partners that will guarantee a stream of income for them.

In partnership with the GDED, Pernod Ricard plans to create a sustainable environment for artisans by establishing five workshops across Gauteng in the next five years, accommodating approximately 100 makers in the province. The wine and spirits seller says it aims to grow makers’ businesses to accommodate up to 1,000 new jobs across all its workshops. The makers will also have access to a virtual showroom enabling makers to photograph and instantly display their creations to a broad range of prospective online clients.

“South Africa’s entrepreneurs already have to contend with the challenges associated with COVID-19, making it extremely difficult for them to grow, let alone survive,” says GDED Director of Special Projects and Partnerships, Tseliso Mohlomi. “The role of these businesses in creating jobs and stimulating the economy is critically important, which is why we’ve partnered with Pernod Ricard, which has ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ amongst one of its three cardinal values, to provide these makers with the resources they need to succeed in this turbulent economic climate.”

Pernod Ricard’s Phakamisa ispirit campaign follows the brand’s 2020 festive campaign, which also redirected money traditionally spent on importing glass gift packs from abroad into the local economy instead. Local artists, manufacturers, and artisans were commissioned to produce gifts that accompanied selected Pernod Ricard products, replacing the imported branded glass gift packs historically found in stores over this period.

Pernod Ricard is committed to working collaboratively with government and civil society to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol in our society.  The company is actively participating in evidence-based programmes focusing on drinking and driving/walking, binge drinking, and underage drinking.