Belgian brewer launches global deployment of Ukrainian beer for relief

Belgian brewer launches global deployment of Ukrainian beer for relief

Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU Vsevolod Chentsov, Honorary Consul of Ukraine to Belgium Kris Beckers, Marketing Director of Chernigivske Anna Rudenko, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev Jason Warner and Ambassador of Ukraine Oleh Shamshur pose as Anheuser-Busch InBev launches production in Belgium of Ukrainian Chernigivske beer, which they plan to sell worldwide to raise funds for humanitarian aid following the Russian invasion of Ukraine , in Leuven, Belgium, May 6, 2022. REUTERS / Clement Rossignol

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LEUVEN, Belgium, May 6 (Reuters) – The world’s biggest brewer launched production of a popular Ukrainian beer in Belgium on Friday and said all profits from its global sales would go to humanitarian aid in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has halted production of Chernigivske lager and other beers at its three breweries in Ukraine due to the war, which began after the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Belgium, Oleg Shamshur, witnessed the rollout of the first cans at AB InBev’s large brewery in Leuven on Friday and hailed the launch as a way to introduce Ukrainian products to the world.

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“Perhaps more importantly, it would have a symbolic meaning in the sense that people who drink Chernigivske will think of Chernihiv, the city that was attacked by Russians and resisted the Russian invasion,” he said. he told Reuters TV.

The beer comes from Chernihiv, a city in northern Ukraine that suffered heavy shelling and missile strikes earlier in the war before Russian forces focused on eastern and southern Ukraine.

The idea for the relief initiative came from Ukraine’s marketing manager. The beer is already on sale in Britain.

“This initiative is now going global,” Jason Warner, European director of AB InBev. “You will be able to enjoy a Chernigivske in Canada, a Chernigivske in the United States, also in Colombia, Brazil and across Latin America as well as all over Europe.”

He added that the cans, which feature the blue and yellow colors of the national flag, should be in stores within two to three weeks.

Despite the suspension of production in Ukraine, AB InBev said it would continue to pay its 1,812 employees there this year, as well as help their families with food and housing.

The Belgian brewer operates in Ukraine as part of a joint venture with Turkish brewer Anadolu Efes (AEFES.IS), which has a large presence in Russia.

AB InBev said it would exit Russia by selling its non-controlling stake in the business, most likely to partner Efes. It is unclear whether he plans to maintain a presence in Ukraine. Read more

The war in Ukraine has killed thousands, displaced more than 11 million people and destroyed towns and villages.

Russia calls its actions a “special operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Kyiv and its Western supporters say this is a false pretext to wage an unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign democratic state.

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Written by Philip Blenkinsop Editing by Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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