Pernod Ricard has bowed to international political pressure and stopped the export of its brands to Russia.
In a statement published on its website on Friday (12 May), the Martell brand owner confirmed it had ceased shipments of its international brands to Russia at the end of April.
The company added it would now run down existing inventories before ending the distribution of its portfolio in the country, a process it said it anticipates “will take some months to complete“.
“We are assessing how to adapt our local organisation in light of these decisions, while fully complying with all local legal regulations,“ the statement said.
“Since the outbreak of the war our guiding principle has been the welfare of our teams wherever they are based, and we will continue to support our local employees during this process.“
Speaking to Just Drinks, a spokesperson for Pernod Ricard confirmed this would mean the loss of around 300 job losses in Russia, as it wound down nearly all its operations there.
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The spokesperson added that the Beefeater brand owner would retain a small presence in the country, with a view to being able to export its brands again in the future.
“The goal is to come back to Russia in the future when the circumstances will be okay,“ they said.
Pernod Ricard has faced protests in London and Dublin over its resumption of shipments to Russia earlier this year. Like many companies, the Paris-headquartered group suspended exports to the country following its invasion of Ukraine last February.
However, it resumed shipments when stocks of brands including Jameson and Beefeater began to run low at the end of 2022, prompting outcry from campaigners.
Campaign group The Moral Rating Agency described Pernod Ricard as “swimming against the moral tide” in resuming exports, adding it was “as disgusting as it is ironic to return” to the country while other companies were still exiting.
In its defence, the group said it had been necessary to restart shipments to avoid accusations of intentional bankruptcy, which is a criminal offence in Russia.
Last month, Pernod Ricard ceased exports of its Absolut vodka brand to Russia following a backlash in Sweden.