Stella Artois (Canada) launches “Rally for Restaurants” gift card program to help local restaurants and bars hit hard by COVID-19 crisis

In an effort to bring Canadians together to support local restaurants and bars during this difficult time, Stella Artois announced today “Rally for Restaurants,” a gift card program that provides local establishments with immediate financial relief.

Stella Artois is rolling out “Rally for Restaurants” a global initiative in 10 different countries. It is open to all bars and restaurants across Canada in an effort to stimulate the industry. The program encourages Canadians to buy a gift card that they can use at their local favourites upon re-opening, or to use now for takeout. As an added incentive, Stella Artois will add an additional $10 to the value of every gift card purchased which will go directly to restaurants, bars and pubs.

“Local restaurants and bars are the heart of communities and a much-loved part of our social lives,” says Todd Allen, VP of Marketing at Labatt Breweries of Canada. “Many of these establishments have had to close down during the COVID-19 emergency, while others are trying to get by on take-out. It’s an extremely challenging period and we want to offer as much support as possible.”

How it works – Restaurants sign up to be part of the program at www.rallyforrestaurants.ca

• A consumer purchases a gift card for a local restaurant, bar or pub $25/$50
• Stella Artois adds an additional $10 to the value of the gift card
• The establishment immediately gets the money

Through the initiative, Stella Artois is aiming to empower Canadians to get involved and help support their local restaurant during a difficult time and as part of that, Stella Artois will donate $250,000 to participating restaurants, pubs and bars in a joint effort to help preserve the future of the industry.

“We’re hoping that Rally for Restaurants will not only help restaurants and bars in the immediate term but will also help safeguard the future of the industry and inspire Canadians to join our efforts by purchasing gift cards over the weeks to come. We hope that all Canadians across the country unite to champion their favourite ‘local’ and help secure the future of the hospitality industry,” says Allen.

For more information to sign up or purchase a gift card, visit www.rallyforrestaurants.ca.

Visit www.stellaartois.com

Update – Countries that have banned alcohol sales due to Covid-19

In North America and much of Europe, liquor stores remain open with limited hours. Often busy and protected under the same regulations that allow businesses such as supermarkets or pharmacies to operate.

Some countries, on the other hand, have banned alcohol, others say liquor shops are essential services, and one top official even suggested a tipple after a long day trapped at home can be a necessary restorative.

The debate around alcohol and the coronavirus pandemic touches on issues of health, the economy, worker safety — and whether for some a glass of wine may indeed help cope with the stress of seeing their lives upended in the space of weeks.

While restrictions have been placed on alcohol sales in many countries due to the closure of pubs, restaurants, bars and stores, here is an update on the countries and regions that have gone one step further that have banned both on- and off-trade sales during the coronavirus outbreak.

 South Africa

South Africa, the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in Africa, has enforced strict lockdown measures. The country has banned the sale and export of alcohol until 16 April.

However, the country’s wine industry received a welcome boost last week when viticultural and winemaking work was deemed “essential”. This means that wineries will be allowed to finish their 2020 harvest and work on the wine in their cellars.

Citing reasons for the alcohol ban, the government said that booze reduces a person’s ability to practice social distancing and practice good personal hygiene. It also stated that alcohol can affect the immune system, meaning that those with already weak immune systems will make themselves more susceptible to disease.

It also said that an alcohol prohibition would “limit the possibility of an increase in incidents of domestic violence” and also reduce stress on the emergency services.

Greenland

The sale of alcohol was banned in the capital of Greenland, Nuuk, and the surrounding area (Kapisillit and Qeqertarsuatsiaat) as of March 28, and is expected to last until April 15.

The country’s prime minister, Kim Kielsen, said that the consumption of alcohol makes people “less aware of the danger of contamination”.

He also said that he has taken the decision to ban alcohol in order to protect children and make sure they have “a safe home”.

Aisne, France

Aisne, a département in northern France, announced March 24 that the sale of alcohol from stores was banned during the coronavirus lockdown.

Like the reasons given in South Africa and Greenland, Ziad Khoury, Préfet of the region, cited concerns over violence, particularly in the home, as being a contributing factor to the alcohol ban.

However, after a backlash, this decision was allegedly reversed and the ban was lifted.

 Provinces of Thailand 

Sakon Nakhon banned the sale of alcohol starting Tuesday at least until April 16. The move is designed to curb group drinking at home, a popular tradition among rural Thais. Thailand has the highest per-capita alcohol consumption in Southeast Asia, according to a World Health Organization report.

Majority-Buddhist Thailand already has relatively strict rules that block sales of beer, wine and spirits during specific hours, and others among its 77 provinces could follow Sakon Nakhon’s lead if infections keep surging, according to health officials. The country has more than 1,600 confirmed cases and 10 fatalities.

Banning alcohol would add a tier to state-of-emergency rules imposed by the government last week, under which non-essential businesses are shut and inter-provincial travel is discouraged.

Violation of the rule in Sakon Nakhon is punishable by one year in prison or a fine of 100,000 baht ($3,066).

 

Sources: Drinks Business and Bloomberg

 

 

 

Snow Hits Portugal’s Douro – This is not an April Fool’s Joke!

The famous Port-producing region is under a blanket snow this week when residents would normally be witnessing the blooming of springtime flowers.The last day of March brought snow to the Douro, which is 700 meters above sea level – something that is almost unheard of at this time of year.

It is a reminder that beyond Covid-19 we still face the challenge of Climate Change.

 

Source:  Drinks Business

The Bourgogne Wine Sector Stands Ready — New Working Practices on Estates to Face the Health Crisis

Since France has ground to a near-halt under Covid-19 confinement measures, growers and négociants in Bourgogne have continued to work, introducing some ingenuity. This is essential because the vines continue to grow; there is work to be done in the cellar, and because one also has to think about when normal business resumes. In Bourgogne, growers and négociants are adhering to strict safe distancing measures both in the vines and the winery.

Activity accelerating in the vines

The hashtag #LaVigneContinue exists for a good reason: Nature cannot be confined! Especially in the springtime, when the sap rises, and the buds emerge from their downy cocoons. In each plot, there is work to be done. The cuttings must be cleared after pruning, trellising must be repaired, the canes need tying up, the ground needs plowing. After budburst, the excess buds and suckers will need to be removed.

Growers and négociants in Bourgogne are continuing to work as far as possible and adapting to the situation. Nicolas Rossignol, in Gevrey-Chambertin, has reorganized his team: “I have asked everyone to use their personal vehicle to get around. In the vines, it is one to a plot, or else we leave two or three rows between us (2 to 3m) if we have to work in the same place. In addition to tying up and fixing trellising, we are also starting to plow. I have two tractors, so each driver has their own.”

And for a touch of local ingenuity, he reveals that instead of using commercial hand-sanitizer, he dug out some of the “head” distillation liquid from a batch of marc de Bourgogne. “It’s around 80% alcohol, so it’s ideal for disinfecting hands and equipment. In the same vein, we no longer eat together. Since we’ve had fine weather, everyone has lunch outside. You just have to go one at a time into the kitchen to reheat your dish.”

There are some unexpected obstacles to manage, such as hiring a seasonal worker to make up for the absence of an employee who has to stay at home to look after children while the schools are closed.

In wineries that have larger teams of staff, managers have also had to adapt. With 10 or more employees, flexibility is the order of the day. Working times are staggered to avoid encountering coworkers, and those who are partially occupied looking after children come into work when they can, including on weekends. Nicolas Rossignol concludes: “The growth cycle has begun, although the cold which came at the start of last week slowed it a little. But overall, we are working at the same pace as usual.”

Complex adaptation for shipments

During this season, activity in the cellar is calmer. The wines are in the middle of aging, and the main task is topping up barrels. This only usually requires one person. Other lower-priority tasks can wait.

The area of bottling, labeling, and shipping poses another set of challenges. Some companies are carrying on, anticipating that others will resume activity a fortnight from now. But whatever the task, managers are attentive to maintaining safe distances between employees, and respecting all the recommendations from the Ministry of Health. The essential thing is looking after the health of staff.

On the commercial front, there are fewer orders than usual. Some transporters continue to make deliveries, while certain international orders have been put on one side, ready to go as soon as international transport resumes.

“We know the current situation is only temporary, and we are ready to respond to increased demand as soon as it comes,” said Louis-Fabrice Latour, President of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) and CEO of the Louis Latour wine house. “Managers of wineries and estates are keeping a close eye on when normal production activity can resume, whilst ensuring the health and safety of all concerned.”

On behalf of the whole wine sector, he added: “We are aware of all the efforts being made, on all levels, for France to emerge from this health crisis as quickly and in the best shape possible. We will contribute to this return to normal. We are also greatly appreciative of all of those who are taking care of us and our families.”

The Hand-Sanitizer Manufacturing Exchange Is Launched in Canada

Cosmetics Alliance Canada, the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association and Spirits Canada today launched the Hand-Sanitizer Manufacturing Exchange as part of their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Hand-sanitizers have been recognized as one of the effective tools in combatting the transfer of the COVID-19 virus and a measure that can be easily and safely utilized by everyone in stopping the spread of this disease.

“Our three organizations have come together to aid in faster, safer and effective scale-up of hand-sanitizer production across Canada”, said Cosmetics Alliance Canada CEO, Darren Praznik.

“People are coming together to do what they can in this crisis but Canadians need access to safe products. DIY hand-sanitizers, the latest trend on social media is at best ineffective against COVID-19 and at worst potentially dangerous. We pledge to do our best to ensure that Canadians have an adequate supply of safe and effective hand-sanitizer for you and your family,” says Shannon Coombs, President of CCSPA.

Developed in collaboration with Health Canada, the Exchange provides a single platform where firms interested in making hand-sanitizer or contributing to its manufacture will be able to exchange information to locate available materials, services or manufacturing capacity needed for production.

The initiative parallels Health Canada action expediting approvals of companies interested in making hand-sanitizer, a product regulated under Health Canada’s Natural Health Product Regulations, part of Canada’s Food and Drugs Act.

The Exchange reminds all interested parties that they should consult Health Canada’s March 242020 bulletin outlining how hand-sanitizer products and the companies making them may seek expedited approvals.

Jan Westcott, CEO of Spirits Canada noted that “As governments all across Canada are mobilizing to ensure the supply of critical medical equipment and health products, we and our Cosmetics and Consumer Specialty Products partners are pleased to be able to do our part in helping with the disinfectant component of the fight.”

Joining the three Exchange developers are the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) who will host the Exchange on their website.

Websites:

Cosmetics Alliance Canada – https://www.cosmeticsalliance.ca/

Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association- http://www.ccspa.org/

Spirits Canada – https://www.spiritscanada.ca/

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters – https://cme-mec.ca/