Co-op Food removes Russian-made vodka from shelves

Russian Standard vodka has been taken off sale ‘with immediate effect’ as the brand is produced in the country, a spokesman said.

03 March 2022

Co-op Food has removed Russian-made vodka from sale in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian Standard vodka has been taken off sale “with immediate effect” as the brand is “overtly marketed as being Russian” and is produced in the country, a spokesman said.

He said: “In response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces and as a sign of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, we have taken the decision to remove from sale Russian-made vodka.

“Russian Standard has been taken off sale with immediate effect because it is overtly marketed as being Russian and produced there.

“It will not be stocked for the foreseeable future.

“A Polish distilled alternative will be sold in our stores in its place.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and those in Russia who oppose this invasion.”

He added: “Our members and customers will also be able to support the humanitarian response to help those displaced by the conflict by donating at our stores to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal. The appeal will launch across our 2,600 stores today and we’ll be match funding our customers donations up to £100,000.”

The move follows a host of UK bars and hospitality firms stopping the sale of Russian vodka due to the invasion.

Nightcap Group and Arc Inspirations are among bar operators to remove vodka and other alcohol products from Russia from their venues in a move of solidarity with people in Ukraine.

New Dragon’s Den line-up
Sarah Willingham (left) with fellow entrepreneurs on Dragon’s Den (BBC)

Sarah Willingham, former Dragon’s Den entrepreneur and founder of Nightcap, described the move as a “little thing” the business could do in response to the conflict.

London-listed Nightcap runs 27 sites across its London Cocktail Club, Barrio Bars and Adventure Bar Group businesses.

Finland and Sweden banned liquor sourced from Russia on Monday, followed by Norway on Tuesday.

Supermarket chains including Top! and Elvi in Latvia, Coop and Rimi in Estonia and Norfa and Maxima in Lithuania also banned vodka among all goods originating from Russia.

Meanwhile, Leeds-based bar owner Arc Inspirations also confirmed it would stop serving Russian vodka.

The bar business said on Twitter: “To show our support to the people of Ukraine we will no longer be pouring any Russian vodka in any of our bars #standwithukraine.”

Elsewhere, the founder of Bundobust, which runs hospitality venues in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, also called on the sector to find alternatives for Russian products.

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