11 May 2023
By Tom Collins
A Munster Fine Gael senator has accused well-known Cork brand ‘Jameson’ of selling its Irish produced whiskey in Russia
Tipperary Senator Garret Ahearn secured photos of Jameson whiskey, complete with Russian labelling showing the bottling date of December 16th last, “openly on sale in Russia this month”.
Senator Ahearn, Vice Chairperson of the Enterprise, Trade & Employment Affairs committee, has this week called on Jameson parent company Pernod Ricard to be added to the EU sanctions list at the next Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting.
The French multinational drinks brand resumed shipments to Russia last year after initially stalling exports following Mr Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine. Last month, the company said they were working to stop the export of drinks, including Jameson Irish whiskey, to Russia but no firm date was announced.
Senator Ahearn said the time has come for international action to be taken as the French company “won’t show unity with the European Union”.
“The images of a famous Irish product, complete with the address of Irish Distillers Limited and the Clondalkin address of the bottling operation, are there for all to see on the Russian label. It was bottled less than five months ago and is now sold in central Moscow despite the war in Ukraine.
“The bottle’s label states the Russian importer authorised to collect claims is PR Rus JSC, 119034, Russian Federation, Moscow, Sechenovsky.
“So, while Russian drones and missiles rain down on Kyiv this week, our Jameson whiskey continues to quench Putin’s thirst. Time’s up. This can’t continue.
“The time has come for EU action to be taken as the Pernod Ricard commercial decision has not been clear enough or transparent.
“The Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin should bring this up at this month’s foreign affairs council with his European counterparts to broaden the sanction packages and add Pernod Ricard to the sanctions list.
“I’d encourage the Tánaiste to ask other European Foreign Affairs Ministers to look at their own industries where luxury goods have started to slip back into Russia.
“It seems obvious now, that Pernod Ricard has no intention of withdrawing Jameson from the Russian market and are squeezing it for all they can. It is therefore, time for the Irish Government to intervene, to protect our international reputation and that of our world renowned famous products,” Senator Ahearn concluded.
However, it is true to say that no goods brand can control where its products end up. For many years many western products such as Mercedes cars have been entering North Korea, despite that country being on many sales blacklists.