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Campaigners urge King Charles to strip Bacardí of royal warrant

A Ukrainian campaign group is putting pressure on the King to revoke the royal warrants of prominent FMCGs over Russian ties, with Bacardí among the companies named.

Campaigners urge King Charles to strip bacardi royal warrant

B4Ukraine, a group created to block economic resources behind Russia, sent a letter to King Charles ahead of his birthday on 15 June urging him to revoke the royal warrants of Bacardí, Nestlé, Unilever and Mondelez, the US parent of Cadbury.

Royal warrants are awarded to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services to the Royal Household.

King Charles is being urged to strip companies which continue to operate under Putin’s regime of their status as warrant holders. Campaigners claimed that by continuing to maintain operations in the country the companies are indirectly contributing to Russia’s war effort.

B4Ukraine has been trying to raise the issue with Buckingham Palace since February, according to The Telegraph. So far the campaign group has received no response.

The latest letter is the first time the group has directly asked for royal warrants to be revoked.

It read: “Such a decisive step would not only demonstrate the solidarity of the Royal Family with Ukraine but also convey that the Family does not condone the continued presence of these companies in Russia.”

All four companies named in the letter — Unilever, Nestlé, Bacardí and Cadbury — were all awarded warrants by the late Queen Elizabeth II. Bacardí, which owns Martini, holds a warrant to supply the late Queen with vermouth.

The Royal household is currently reviewing the status of hundreds of royal warrants given out by the late Queen. A decision on which companies will retain them will come later this year.

Bacardí backs off in Russia

In May the drinks business reported that Bacardí had cut its presence in Russia with a sharp reduction of its local range in the country.

The firm has almost completely suspended the supplies of some of its flagship brands, including Bacardí rum, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin and other drinks.

This has been recently confirmed by representatives of some leading Russian retail chains, and with their stocks of Bacardí drinks almost completely exhausted.

In fact, Bacardí stopped supplies of a number of brands to Russia at the beginning of 2023, although prior to this significant reserves of these drinks were formed — sent mainly to catering enterprises.

Now these stocks are coming to an end, hopes in the country are being put on the increase of supplies through parallel imports.

Royal warrants revoked

Last month it was announced that King Charles withdrew two warrants from businesses with ties to Russia in a major review. Samsung and Kimberly-Clark were stripped of the award following similar pressure from Ukrainian campaigners.

A review of more than 800 warrant holders is currently underway.

the drinks business as reached out to Bacardí for comment.

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