One of New Zealand's largest alcohol retail chains will stop selling Russian-made products in response to Russia's escalating aggression towards Ukraine.
The West Auckland Trusts said that from today it would be removing thousands of bottles of Russian vodka and beer from its shelves.
The Trusts owns 26 retail stores as well as hospitality venues throughout the west Auckland region.
The ban includes those brands with Russia as their country of origin and includes; 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.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The products will not be replaced with other brands and the empty shelf space will instead display a Ukrainian flag.
Trusts chief executive Allan Pollard said the move is in response to the growing groundswell of consumer sentiment.
"Vodka is Russia's most high-profile export product and our actions today are designed to show our support for Ukraine's sovereignty," Pollard said.
"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."
Pollard said that the immediate removal of Russian vodka and beer from sale, of which the company sells thousands of annually, is in line with similar actions taken by businesses in a number of other countries around the world including Canada, the United States and Australia.
The removed product will be placed in storage, or discarded if there is no imminent resolution, Pollard added.