Drinks giant Bacardi has revealed it is stockpiling booze ahead of Brexit, but dismissed the UK’s impending divorce as “not even a blip on the horizon” in the firm’s 157-year history.
Amanda Almond, Bacardi’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, told the Press Association the group is taking “responsible and sensible precautions” to ward off supply issues to and from Europe.
She said: “We will take appropriate action to make sure we can secure supply, no matter what the conditions are.”
Ms Almond declined to give details of its stockpiling, but said the group had looked at the possible impact on its supply chain and risks of Brexit to “make sure customers can still enjoy our products”.
She also said it would keep its British distilleries regardless of the outcome of Brexit.
“On a scale of what the family has weathered over the last 157 years, Brexit isn’t even a blip on the horizon,” she said.
The group – the world’s largest privately held spirits company – makes its namesake rum Bacardi in Puerto Rico, but many of its other tipples are made across Europe and the UK.
Martini is made in Italy, while super premium Grey Goose Vodka is distilled in France.
It also has a raft of distilleries across the UK, where it makes Bombay Sapphire gin, as well as the Dewar’s and William Lawson’s blended Scotch whiskies.
Ms Almond said: “It’s hard to make a London gin not in the UK and you can’t make Scotch malt whisky anywhere but Scotland.”
As well as prepping for Brexit, Bacardi is also taking action to offset a growing trend among young Britons to drink less.
Dry January has now become a regular feature in the calendar, while an increasing number of Britons are also trading up to more premium drinks amid a “drink less, but better” attitude to alcohol.
In response to this, Bacardi revealed it is launching a new no-alcohol sparkling wine under the Martini brand with supermarket Morrisons from April.
“It’s about offering choices and the fact consumers are drinking less, but better,” said Ms Almond.
The comments come after family-owned Bacardi recently celebrated its Founder’s Day and 157th anniversary with a Back to the Bar initiative that saw its 7,000 employees hit bars across 130 cities to connect with customers and check on how business, bars and tastes are changing.
In the UK, Bacardi employs nearly 800 people across its offices and manufacturing sites, including its regional headquarters in Winchester, the Bombay Sapphire distillery in Laverstoke and whisky distilleries such as Royal Brackla and Craigellachie.