Heineken shuts down all sales & production in Russia
Dutch beer giant Heineken is stopping the production, advertising, and sale of the Heineken brand in Russia immediately. The company announced this on Wednesday in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"We are shocked and saddened to watch the tragedy in Ukraine unfold. We stand with the Ukrainian people, and our hearts go out to all those affected. The Russian Government's war against Ukraine is an unprovoked and completely unjustified attack," Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink said in a statement.
The company is also taking steps to "ring-fence our Russian business from the wider Heineken company," Van den Brink said. Heineken will no longer accept any financial benefit derived from Russian operations. The company previously also halted all new investments and exports to Russia.
Heineken is considering its options for the future of its Russian operations, and helping its Russian employees stands central to that. "We see a clear distinction between the actions of the Government and our employees in Russia," the CEO said. "Supporting our employees and their families is a key principle as we define the path forward."
Heineken pledged to step up support and donations to NGOs operating in Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to help the people of Ukraine. "We hope very much that a path to a peaceful outcome emerges in the near term."
A Heineken spokesperson told NOS that Russia accounts for less than 2 percent of the company's annual turnover. But he stressed that the Heineken brand is an integral part of the activities in Russia.
Heineken is not the first major brand to withdraw from Russia in the past weeks. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, KFC, and Mcdonald's are a few of the many international brands that stopped doing business in the country.