CEOs of leading beer, wine, and spirits producers unite to support the rebuilding of the thriving cafe, bar, and restaurant culture missed by communities
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented global challenge of protecting lives while also safeguarding livelihoods and communities. Only a whole-of-society, united, and collaborative approach can deliver an effective global response.
As custodians of some of the world's most iconic and popular beer, wine, and spirits brands, we are determined to play our part in supporting this global effort, while maintaining our commitment to the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide that we employ, and the many millions of businesses we support in the value chain across agriculture, production, distribution, retail, and hospitality sectors.
The hospitality sector has been among those most severely impacted by shutdowns around the world, yet it has never been more valued or missed. The sudden closure of cafés, restaurants, and bars brought into sharp focus not just how many livelihoods depend on these venues, but also how vital they are to the social fabric and emotional wellbeing of communities.
Socializing in bars and restaurants has been missed the most, second only to spending time with friends and family. To many of us, the two are intimately linked. Indeed, the sense of occasion and pleasure of being sociable is so valued that many are prepared to pay more to go out and enjoy food and drink within these settings, clearly showing that communities value their social wellbeing alongside their physical health.
By working together, with all key partners, we can help rebuild a safe and thriving café, bar, and restaurant culture that can flourish despite the uncertain times we currently face. Through a whole-of-society response we can once again create the welcoming environment that has been missed by many.
Although our individual companies are very different, we share many common values. We all take pride in the drinks we produce. We want to ensure our products are consumed responsibly so that, for those who chose to drink them, it is always a positive and memorable experience.
Harmful drinking is not in our interests; it is bad for consumers, bad for the communities we serve, and ultimately bad for our businesses. Although there have been long-term declines in binge drinking, drink driving, and underage drinking in many parts of the world, there is more that we are determined to do.
As governments allow venues to reopen, we will work alongside retailers and other business partners to support appropriate physical distancing measures. We will also use our marketing, promotion of responsible service, and server training programs to help prevent harmful drinking from threatening the safe and sociable atmosphere that communities want to enjoy. In addition - recognizing the rapid growth in online sales and home delivery of beer, wine, and spirits - we are accelerating the efforts that we announced in January to develop global e-commerce standards and safeguards for online marketing, sales, and delivery, and invite digital platforms and delivery agents to join us in doing this.
As we emerge from this pandemic, we will continue constructive dialogue with national governments, international organizations, experts, and civil society to better understand what we can do to raise standards and protect lives, livelihoods, and communities.
By working together, we can help communities rebuild the thriving and flourishing café, bar, and restaurant culture that is so valued and important to our social wellbeing.
Signed: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Asahi Group Holdings, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Carlsberg, Diageo, Heineken, Kirin Holdings Company, Molson Coors, Pernod Ricard, and William Grant & Sons
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About pernod ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s No 2 in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €8,824 million in FY 2021. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008).
Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, and Kenwood wines.
Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group’s decentralised organisation empowers its 18,500 employees to be true on-the-ground ambassadors of its vision of “Créateurs de Convivialité.” As reaffirmed by the Group’s strategic plan, “Transform and Accelerate,” deployed in 2018, Pernod Ricard’s strategy focuses on investing in long-term, profitable growth for all stakeholders.
The Group remains true to its three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics, as illustrated by the 2030 Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “Good times from a good place.” In recognition of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nations’ Global Compact LEAD company. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN Code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 and Eurostoxx 50 indices.