Amid all the challenges stemming from the COVID-19 crisis, one thing hasn’t changed - the alcohol industry’s dedication to come together to overcome obstacles. Ann Mukherjee, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, addressed this sentiment in a recent interview, stating that challenging times are a great way for businesses to show their true character. With so much uncertainty in the world, Mukherjee has led her company to focus on business practices they can control and to help people feel safe – both of which prompted Pernod Ricard to begin producing hand sanitizer in their facilities. Incredibly, from suggestion to implementation, the process to convert their production lines and start making the essential solution took only 48 hours.
But Pernod Ricard is not the only organization to switch production gears to help overcome corona-related challenges. Everyone from local craft brewers to global companies like Diageo have been working hard to fill supply shortages and support local communities.
Here are just a few ways Fintech’s outstanding distributor network is pitching in and helping out where they’re needed.
Badger Liquor Wine and Spirits, donated $100,000 to the Tavern League of Wisconsin’s CHEERS fund (Communities Helping Empower Employees to Remain Successful). This fund was set up with the sole purpose of helping small businesses and their employees stay afloat during the financial hardships caused by the current public health crisis.
Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits has been filling another key supply shortage by donating over 30,000 KN95 masks to the Red Cross. These masks will be distributed where they’re needed most, to healthcare officials and local first responders. Southern Glazer’s also volunteered logistical assistance to get ventilator machines to New York when a Florida manufacturer donated 2,400 new machines. Jet Blue flew the ventilators to New York City, and Southern Glazer's loaded the equipment onto their trucks to be transported to a facility over 200 miles away.
Buzz Pop Cocktails donated $50,000 worth of their signature, alcohol-infused popsicles to frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers across the United States. Joseph Isaacs, CEO, added, “With time being tough for doctors and nurses at facilities across the country, we felt a need to chip in and help relieve some of that day-to-day stress. We are glad to help in this small way and brighten so many people's day.”
Through the end of April, Stein Distributing Company will be donating $1 to the Idaho Food Bank for every 24-pack or larger of Budweiser or Bud Light sold, up to $25,000. But it doesn’t end there! Stein Distributing’s majority owner, Catherine Stein, has also committed to matching the donation, meaning up to $50,000 could be raised for the food bank amid this pandemic.
Following the Texan distributorships long history of charitable donations, Ben E. Keith donated $25,000 to the Texan Independent Beer Distributor Relief Fund, which was set up in 2017 after another crisis – Hurricane Harvey. Since its inception, this fund has raised almost $300,000 and will now turn its efforts to support independent restaurants and their employees.
Lewis Bear, a Pensacola, Florida based distributor, took another route to support their community. They purchased food from a local establishment and delivered it to healthcare workers at a north Florida hospital, going out of their way to support both businesses and front-line employees.
Of course, these are just a few examples of how our distributor partners are going above and beyond to not only serve the alcohol industry, but everyone impacted by the pandemic. Thankfully, there are more partners jumping in every day, and their sense of community is just one reason why we’re so proud to be working alongside them in this industry.
Image Credit: Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits