Jack Daniel’s Maker Brown-Forman Corp Announces Hiring Pause in Russia Following Ukraine Invasion

by Michael Freeman

Russia invading Ukraine spurred many companies to protest or sever ties with Russia for the time being. Jack Daniel’s maker Brown-Forman announced something similar, saying the company will enact a hiring pause.

Reuters reports Brown-Forman Corp announced Thursday it paused hiring for its own distribution business in Russia following it invading Ukraine. The company disclosed it gets roughly 1 percent of its sales from Russia. It also sports 80 employees in the country. This decision comes after it initially planned to expand its workforce and hire more people for its own distribution business there. Before the invasion began, the venture would have become operational in July.

As of now, Brown-Forman sells its spirits and wine through third parties in Russia. The company didn’t expand on its announcement to say whether sales in the country would completely halt.

This comes hot on the heels of Brown-Forman’s European peer Diageo making a similar decision. The Smirnoff and Guinness maker stated it would pause exports to both Ukraine and Russia. “Our priority is the safety of our people in Ukraine and the wider region,” a spokesperson said.

Russia’s invasion entered its second week and more than one million refugees have fled the country. Many United States-based companies have been both withdrawing sales and pausing operations in both countries since the invasion began.

Russian Vodka Boycott Reaches Global Proportions Amid the Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine

Though the United States and Canada began a protest of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, it appears to have hit a global level. The Russian vodka boycott has expanded globally, with many nations refusing to sell the spirits to potential customers.

Whether it’s simply taking them off the shelves or emptying the bottles, bars and liquor stores are removing all traces of Russian vodka from their establishments. Several states here such as New Hampshire, Ohio, and Utah have taken action to limit or outright ban selling Russian vodka. These actions seemingly inspired Finland, Lithuania, and Denmark to follow suit, Bloomberg reports.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte issued a statement about the boycott and what it stands for. “Our boycott won’t cause big damages for the Putin’s businessmen but it’s a matter of principle — our people don’t fund those, who finance the war.”

Australia’s Endeavor Group followed suit, pulling its brands originating in Russia from its network of hotels, stores, and online platforms. Endeavor group is the parent company of liquor retailers BWS and Dan Murphy’s.

Finally, the West Auckland Trusts in New Zealand similarly said it would stop selling thousands of Russian-made products. Instead, the shelves housing the products will feature Ukrainian flags. “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,” Trusts CEO Allan Pollard said.