The West Auckland Trust will remove thousands of bottles of Russian vodka and beer from its 26 stores today and replace them with the Ukrainian flag.
The West Auckland Trusts owns 26 retail stores as well as hospitality venues throughout the region and will stop selling thousands of Russian made products from today in a move to show solidarity with Ukraine.
The empty shelf space will display a Ukrainian flag, says Allan Pollard, Trusts chief executive officer.
"The immediate removal of Russian vodka and beer from sale is in line with similar actions taken by businesses in a number of other countries around the world including Canada, US and Australia," he says.
The ban includes brands with Russia as their country of origin and means the following products will be removed from sale: Ivanov, Russian Standard, Russkaya, Kristov Red vodkas, Gorkovskaya Vodka, JJ Whitley Rhubarb Vodka, Royal Bison Vodka, Russkaya Vodka, Baltika Beer and Three Hills Pale Ale beer.
The company sells thousands of bottles of Russian made alcohol annually but it is prepared to bear the cost associated with their self imposed boycott of products from this nation to support those impacted by the events in Ukraine.
“While New Zealand is a comparatively small market individually, joining our counterparts in other countries around the world in boycotting the sale of these products is a statement of solidarity for the Ukrainian people,” says Pollar.
He says the product will be removed from sale from all Trusts stores in West Auckland today and placed in storage, or discarded if there is no imminent resolution.
Pollard says there are other locally made and imported alternatives available for their customers.