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Bacardi pledges $3m for drinks workers

Bermudian-based Bacardi today pledged $3 million to help workers in the bartending and spirits industry, hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis.

“We are moving very quickly to identify partners and, naturally, Bermuda will be among the markets we support, as this is our home,” said Douglas Mello, managing director of Bacardi's Bermuda office, the company's global headquarters.

Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, launched #RaiseYourSpirits, an Instagram initiative to support bars and restaurants debilitated by the Covid-19 shutdown.

The money was donated by Bacardi brands Bacardi rum, Martini vermouth and sparkling wines, Grey Goose vodka, Patron tequila, Bombay Sapphire gin and Dewar's Blended Scotch whisky. Bacardi's Patron tequila pledged $1 million last week.

A spokesman at the company said they were devastated to watch their longtime partners and friends lose their livelihoods, virtually overnight, as dining out, nightlife and entertainment ground to a halt globally.

Bacardi is working with a number of charities including Another Round, Another Rally; CORE; the James Beard Foundation; Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation; and Tales of the Cocktail.

“And because our business is inherently local, many of our efforts around the world are grass roots, supporting bars and bartenders across countries, cities and neighbourhoods to provide real-time financial support, meals and other necessities to partners in need,” a company spokesman said.

Bacardi said this was just the start.

“Our teams are working hard to identify more ways we can assist our on-trade community,” a spokesman said. “We expect more outreach and activations to come. Our local teams, brands, and people are committed to lending a hand as this unprecedented hardship unfolds.”

Bacardi chief executive officer Mahesh Madhavan said Bacardi is a family company and, for them, business is personal.

“We always say that love for our brands is built in bars, and now it is our turn to show them our love,” Mr Madhavan said. “We don't have all the answers today on how best to help everywhere, but we are committed to do what we can to see our industry through this crisis.

“These may be the darkest of days for bars and restaurants, but I am certain that when we come out on the other side, people will emerge from isolation with a renewed zest to live life to the fullest and celebrate together with friends and family.”

International effort: Douglas Mello, managing director of Bacardi's Bermuda office (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 25, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 25, 2020 at 12:34 am)

Bacardi pledges $3m for drinks workers

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