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Grey Goose launches House of Change initiative for Bartenders

From being one of the leading vodka brands globally, Grey Goose is the go to vodka choice for most consumers today. Ambrosia spoke to Aastha Gupta, Brand Manager – Premium White Spirits (INDIA & SEA), Bacardi India Private Ltd on their new initiative called House of Change.

How important is this program to the Grey Goose brand?
Bartender advocacy has always been one of the key foundational pillars in our brand’s history and the bartending community holds great importance to us. In these unprecedented times, Grey Goose wanted to support learning to help the community weather the storm, so that bartenders are able to return to their craft even stronger than before.
India has some of the best bartenders in the world. The House of Change program is aimed at these professional bartenders who already provide the highest level of drink experiences to consumers. Our goal is to help them refine their softer skills by accentuating not only their talents behind the bar, but a 360-degree development of their personalities and their service style.

What kind of brand recall do you expect from consumers watching this program?
Our House of Change initiative is created for the bartending community. Bartenders embrace health and wellness, seek advanced training and career enriching experiences and have a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Each bartender has unique interests and hobbies, but the common underlying thread is the desire to grow. Through this program we tried to bring alive our Brand promise by uniting the bar community around their shared passion for trade and hospitality, while providing a platform where they can polish their skills and engage with and celebrate their community. As Grey Goose, our commitment to our partners goes beyond their professional role – our goal is to support them in all aspects of their career and personal development, as well.

What is the size of the program in terms of bartenders and what are the consumer views you expect to get?
We are proud to say that bartender participation has grown since the program launched three years ago. This year, we received an overwhelming response with more than 500 entries for the participation and we welcomed 200 registered participants.

What is your digital media plan for this exercise?
House of Change is aimed at the bartending industry and was promoted through our Bacardi brand ambassador team and our partners. Our advocacy team have built a strong community and we were pleased to see them share the opportunity across their network.

Was this a specific program for India?
House of Change is a specially curated local multi-faceted advocacy program run by the India Grey Goose team specifically for the needs of the Indian talent, to support them in marking their foray into the global scene with a competitive edge. This program is running for the third consecutive year.

What kind of market response do you expect after this virtual initiative? 
House of Change is a program curated with the hope that it benefits the bartenders in a positive way, setting them to discover a journey from a job to a clearly defined purposeful career with a point of view.

How has the Grey Goose brand evolved in India?
Grey Goose was one of the first super premium vodka brands to be present in the Indian market. It has grown from a desirable brand that is looked highly upon to a brand that is much loved and consumed during occasions big and small.

One illicit liquor trade case per day reported during COVID

Nakul Pasricha is the President of Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), a non-profit organisation working towards building up authentication eco-systems in country to support economic, industry and consumer development. In an Interview with Ambrosia he provides deep insight about the current situation of the liquor industry.

Why does liquor matter to state excise and what should they do during such a crisis?
Excise revenue from alcoholic beverages has always been an important source of own tax revenue for states in India. According to Reserve Bank of India study (State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 20192-) state excise duty on alcohol accounts for around 10-15% of own tax revenue of most states.

Post GST implementation, its significance has increased as revenue from state excise (from alcoholic beverages) and stamp duty and registration fees (mainly levied on sale of property) are now the major sources where state governments have autonomy to levy taxes. If one were to exclude SGST (rates of which are decided in the GST Council) from states’ own revenues, the share of state excise and stamps and registration fees in states’ own revenues has increased significantly, from around 20% to 40%, in the post-GST regime.

Table: States revenue as Excise duty (Rs in crore)
2018-19 (RE) 2019-20 (BE)
All states + 2 UTs 1,50,657.95 1,75,501.42
Uttar Pradesh 25,100 31,517.41
Karnataka 19,750 20,950
Maharashtra 15,343.08 17,477.38
West Bengal 10,553.36 11,873.65
Telangana 10,313.68 10,901
Top 5 earner listed above
Source: State Finances: A study of Budgets of 2019-20; RBI

Smuggling or illicit liquor has always been a concern for revenue authorities, how can they handle this during such a crisis?
Smuggling will always remain a challenge with excise authorities until all states come together to form a national pricing policy. Taxes and prices can have a major impact on curbing this illegal trade but it also need to be supported by strong governance and high-level security. Smuggling, refilling and illicit trade can be curbed to a large extent, if all states upgrade their existing systems including upgradation of anti-counterfeiting and supply chain measures. For example, more than 22 states in India are using Tax stamps for revenue protection, but, still out of all, only few have upgraded their tax stamps with digital traceability mechanism. The ability of tax stamp issuers, brands and others involved in tax stamp programmes to monitor and record complex supply chain data in real time is something that could only have been dreamed of a few decades ago. But integration with technology has made it possible and extremely easy.

How much do you estimate counterfeiting has increased during COVID-19?
Liquor products have always been on higher priority for counterfeiters. We have noticed that during the COVID-19 lockdown there has been a spike in crimes related to liquor, making excise officials busy preventing illicit liquor trade. According to media sources, in last 30 days, almost one case per day had been reported in India.

Fraudsters have some ingenious methods of making illicit liquor. For example, many people started making liquor from hand sanitizers. According to a Delhi Police data, they have arrested 155 people in 147 cases under the Excise Act and 18,556 bottles of liquor recovered in the first two weeks of April during the ongoing lockdown. In Kochi, cops have seized over 8500 litres of spirit in multiple raids. In Bihar, which is a prohibited state, 900 cartons of illicit liquor were seized on way to state. In Hisar, officials have seized over 2 lakh liquor bottles during the lockdown period. These are few mere examples.

Some States have started home delivery models. What is your opinion on that?
A technology enabled home delivery solution can help enforce social distancing, but one need to ensure that what the consumer is getting is genuine and safe. There is a need to increase consumer awareness about the dangers of illicit or counterfeit liquor. Most of the liquor bottles carry anti-counterfeiting features but how many consumers check those or insist on a bill? It could be a good opportunity for Government to engage consumer in authentication process as well as in ensuring legitimate sale. If Government can make a mechanism and ensure consumer participation in authentication at point of delivery, it will be a game changer.

How can technology help curb illicit liquor?
With the advancement of desktop publication and smart scanning technologies, it is becoming easy for counterfeiters to replicate product labelling. It is crucial to understand how to protect the product and its packaging from physical attack as well as maintaining a secure supply chain. Even an expert cannot identify the difference between fake vs. genuine products. In this scenario, authentication technologies have played an essential role in combating counterfeiting. While physical technologies are essential for protecting product label and packaging, the recent advancement in digital technologies has open new ways for brand/authorities in faster authentication, monitoring the supply chain, traceability & data intelligence.

Beware of Online frauds while ordering home delivery of alcohol

– Bhavya Desai

With the center allowing the sale of alcohol online in many states, an unprecedented rise in the number of online frauds while ordering alcohol have been reported. Most of these cases are based of social media accounts, especially Facebook where fake profiles in the name of wine shops/retailers have been created along with a number to order the products from.

The consumers call the number provided and are asked to make part or full payment of the products ordered by providing the card details, resulting in the money debited from their card by the online fraudsters.

If you are a consumer who is looking to order alcohol online then it is important to first note if your state is allowing home delivery of alcohol or not? For instance, consumers have been commonly misinterpreting that home delivery is currently allowed in all states resulting in them falling prey to such scams.

The list of the state/city and the method in which they are allowing delivery are below:

State/City How orders are taken

Delhi – E-token

Odisha – Online order and home delivery

Tamil Nadu – Online order and home delivery

Punjab – Order through call and home delivery

Pune – E-token

West Bengal – Online order and home delivery

Mumbai – Order through call and home delivery

Chhattisgarh – Online order and home delivery

Kerala – Book online and collect from store

Currently most of the ordering for home delivery across the states are being done via state govt apps or online platforms governed by the state regulators. Punjab and Mumbai are the only exceptions to this rule where the consumer can call for home delivery of alcohol.

But as reported in our previous article (see article: Maharashtra allows home delivery of Alcohol – sans Mumbai), since Mumbai is in the red containment zone there are no home deliveries that are permitted in the city. Also with wine shops not allowed to operate due to the lockdown in the city, officially they can’t deliver alcohol even if you ordered them.

Making things situation worst for the consumers currently is the reduced banking staff to report the fraudulent transactions. Consumers have had to wait for a longer time than usual while calling the banking hotlines to report such incidents on finding out that they have been duped.

Maharashtra allows home delivery of Alcohol – sans Mumbai

– Bhavya Desai

As the biggest contributor to any States revenue, the lockdown and the closure of the liquor shops for sale of alcohol has resulted in drying the State Governments kitty, bringing things to nearly a grinding halt.

So it isn’t surprising that governments have started shifting their stance on the online sale of liquor and also its home delivery. Maharashtra is the latest State to allow home delivery of alcohol. Although it is yet unclear when this home delivery will start, the government has given a green light to the idea.

However there is a caveat when it comes to this rule. With Mumbai, the biggest market for manufacturers in the State being in the red/containment zone, is still far off from allowing home deliveries. Which means that the consumers in the city will still have to wait for clarity on when the sale of alcohol in the island city will be permitted.

Naturally the deliveries are permitted as long as it is to the home address of the buyer and safety precautions and social distancing norms are taken into account. The move comes after the government earned more than  ₹100 crore in the three days that the shops were open for sale.

A few days earlier the government also gave a green light to introduce an e-token system in Pune and Nashik for buying liquor. Any customer can download an app that allows them to place an order at the closest store. They are then informed when they can come to the store to pick up their purchase.

Punjab, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have also moved to allow home delivery of liquor with Maharashtra now becoming the fourth State to follow the suit. Tamil Nadu (capital city Chennai) is also another state where the high court stated that it was open to the idea of the State run TASMAC starting online sales of liquor by putting a required system in place.

Closer to the bigger cities of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Zomato has proposed home delivery of liquor in a letter to the International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI).

License fee should be charged on a Pro-Rata basis

With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing the industry to a standstill, continuous efforts are being made by the industry stakeholders and manufacturers to work on a plan for the future. Ambrosia speaks to Deepak Roy, Chairman of CIABC and on the Board of Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd about CIABC’s efforts towards the industry.

What is the plan of action for CIABC to revive the industry?
CIABC’s role is to convince State Governments to open up liquor trade as soon as possible within Covid19 guidelines. Governments need to open more shops, take people off shops through online home delivery systems, which partially they have already and also ease the procedural bottlenecks at the factories. Also facilitate cash rotation for companies as the industry is geared up to adapt itself for the new world during and post-Corona. Governments need to move rapidly to reshape regulations.

Despite bans being lifted how can the operations be normalised?
Since bans have generally been lifted and trade is being permitted in most states, the normalisation of operations is on level of threat perceptions, bans may keep getting imposed and removed on localised scale. That seems to be the approach for all non-essential items currently, which alcohol is considered to be in India. We understand that health is a priority and will support Governments in such moves.

Can CIABC work in tandem with NRAI to get the government to partially open restaurants especially in five star hotels and stand-alone outlets?
As a responsible body, we trust that the Government is best placed to decide when is appropriate time to restart restaurants. We understand and appreciate the challenges social outings bring to social distancing. We also share the business pains of the bars and restaurants industry in light of the shutdown. From our end we have made several suggestions to the Government to help out the industry such as permission to sell stock in packaged form as takeaways. Some states have already implemented it.

How can CIABC help the government to open the sales of liquor further, offer free masks and discounted sanitizers to help in the containment of the virus?
CIABC will continue to work hand-in-hand with the government as well as its members to encourage all efforts to lessen the spread of COVID. Our members are already making individual efforts in supplying alcohol based sanitizers and will keep doing from time to time the campaigns or distribution of masks. These will not be CIABC led initiatives but led by our members individually.

What concessions would you expect from the government to compensate for lost revenues?
Unlike many other industries, we do not seek concessions from the Government. All we seek is implementation of fair trade principles, which under any circumstances are right of a legally permitted industry. These include, charging of licenses on pro rata basis (reducing the license fee to the extent of non-sale days).
State governments must start paying our members on due dates. Several states are delaying payments and this is causing a lot of strain on stretched resources in lieu of lower business. Expect states to take steps to avoid crowding at outlets by improving ease of access to alcohol for desirous consumers; a. Increase the number of retail outlets. b. Stretch shop timings to avoid social crowding. c. Allow home deliveries and or online sale of liquor. Not to increase excise duty indiscriminately which will have dampening effect on the volumes of the industry.

Do you think the license fees can be reduced for next year?
The license fee should be charged on a pro rata basis taking into account the loss of sale due closure or lockdown.

Is CIABC planning to launch a digital campaign to underline the importance of opening up liquor shops which would target consumers who form the vote banks?
There are no plans to launch digital campaign. We are in direct touch with almost all state governments and would like to work hand in hand with the governments to balance their revenue needs as well as ensure that social crowding does not spread Covid.

Punjab rejects demand for partial opening of liquor shops

The Punjab government has rejected the demand for partial opening of liquor shops during the lockdown to generate additional excise revenue. The Home Ministry has reiterated that no State would be allowed any dilution of guidelines on what economic activity is permitted during the duration of the second phase of the lock- down.

The Punjab government had written to the Home Ministry seeking exemption for liquor shops in the state during the lockdown saying these should be allowed to partially re-open as this would help in generating additional revenue since the state had faced major financial losses during the lockdown period.

This might come as a blow to the overall industry as well since the CIABC had recently sent their recommendations to the Commerce and Industry Ministry regarding the phased opening of the trade. With this move in Punjab it seems unlikely that the government will allow the opening of any sale or production of the alcobev industry.

The Kerala government had earlier this week allowed some additional economic activities than what was advised by the centre. Home Ministry officials claimed that there was no possibility of granting any state any exemptions from the lockdown till May 3rd.

CIABC recommendations to out the industry back on track

By Bhavya Desai

With the country in the midst of an unprecedented crisis due to the ongoing Covid-19 virus pandemic, States/cities, private offices and commercial establishments are under complete lockdown. Like most businesses the alcobev industry is also witnessing a challenging scenario. With the companies unable to operate and wholesale and retail trade coming to a standstill, most company wholesalers and dealers are sitting on high amount of unsold stock from the alcobev industry.

To make matters worse the lockdown came right in the middle of the financial year end , which means that companies haven’t been able to complete their statutory requirements that ought to be met to keep the continuity of operations.

It is a known fact that the alcobev industry is one of the largest contributors to the economy. It approximately contributes Rs. 200,000 crores by way of various taxes and also sustains livelihood of nearly 40 lakh farmers employing nearly 20 lakh people directly and indirectly. The industry contributes anywhere between 20-40% to the States Revenue of tax receipts.

But the lockdown has not only brought the alcohol sales at a grinding halt, creating a financial impact on the companies. There are several other pending challenges that have added to the current scenario. The rise in price of ENA, its key raw material, denial of price increases by some states and delays in payment by some others. The concern for most of the players in the industry is that a prolonged shut down of industry will not only have a huge economic cost on companies, it may also force the farmers and workers in to joblessness as a result of that.

Not to mention that the prolonged unavailability of legal alcohol has already witnessed growing sale of illicit liquor in just 2 weeks.

CIABC has made several recommendations to the Commerce and Industry Ministry to get the industry back on track with some immediate curative measures for mitigation of problems arising out of lock down, systemic changes in regulation required in light of possibility of prolonged COVID19 threat and the phased opening of the alcoholic beverage industry.

CIABC Recommendations

As part of the Curative Measure, CIABC recommended that the Excise year ended on 31st March, which was in the middle of the lock down phase, companies/distributors/retailers have not been able to clear stocks or statutory requirements. Hence, a blanket order extending the current excise year with all its permissions and approvals be done until 30th June 2020.

This should be done without imposing any fees for the period of 1st April to 30th June as companies have been out of operation so far and even under best circumstances will be only partially functional during this time.

Systemic Changes in The Way Industry Operates

While most practices under this remain constant like other industries, there are several important recommendations that include the continuity of operations with all efforts be made to ensure that the business restarts and continues with minimum necessary disruption.

One of the important changes that CIABC is asking for is the shift to Online Processing of Permissions, Approval, Licensing, Registration, Permits, EVCs etc. With most of these still physical in nature and needing human interaction this possibly could be the best time to use technology and shift those processes online. Also this might act as a step into to the future where such operational requirements can be shifted online as part of ease of operations.

Phase Wise Opening of The Sector

With this being a unique time in order for the sector to start functioning appropriately the committee has recommended that the licenses and permissions for Distilleries/Bottling Plants including industry, excise, pollution etc., that lapsed on 31st March 2020 should be extended until June 30th, 2020 without any additional charges. Also that the companies should be allowed to apply for renewal of these licenses online on any time prior to 30th June and those not seeking any modification to licenses may automatically be granted renewal. Those seeking modifications may be allowed to apply online with supporting documents and a decision on application may be conveyed online.

Existing inventory of packaging materials that became outdated on closure of the Excise Year may be allowed to be used until 30th June. All distilleries / bottling plants not falling within hotspot zone (as identified by the Government) should be allowed to start operations. Naturally the factories are expected to operate at 50% strength and the salaries of the employees should be paid in usual manner without deduction for forced absence.

But on-site physical verification of production and shipping of alcoholic beverage by excise should be discontinued until June 15th. A daily self-declaration by the Head of the plant along with production and shipping details may be accepted at this time.

Indenting/Transit/Stock Movement

In terms of indenting/transit and stock movement export permits, import permits, and transit permits issued in year 2019-20 should be allowed to be used until May 15th. Companies should be allowed to apply online for new permits and the approval should be given online with excise authorities introducing barcodes on permits.

Wholesaling/Distribution/ Warehousing

When it comes to this aspect CIABC states that all licenses related to distribution should be extended until June 30th without any extra fees. The renewal, auction or lottery allotment of licenses should be done online to minimise people interaction at any time prior to June 30th. Also, all stocks produced, shipped or received at distribution warehouse until 31st March 2020 should be allowed to be sold in 2020-21 without any fees or penalty. All other necessary permissions like TPs and so on can also be done online.

CIABC also recommend that no demurrage should be charged for stock lying in Government warehouse until 31st May.

Retail Shops

With all retail operations closed the industry has recommended that retail licenses granted for year 2019-20 which expired on 31st March 2020 should be extended until June 30th, 2020. Shops outside identified COVID19 hotspots should be allowed to open from 9 am to 11 pm From April 15th to May 15th and from 11 am to 11 pm between May 15th to June 15th with regular operations resuming from June 15th.

Retail Shops should be permitted to sell stock purchased or ordered in 2019-20 till stocks last with no retail shop manned by more than two salesmen. No shop should permit more than two customers if it’s a walk-in shop or one customer if it’s single window shop.

Pubs, Bars and Restaurants

The committee recommends that all licenses granted by Excise, Pollution, Fire and local authorities for year 2019-20 which expired on 31st March 2020 should be extended until June 15th 2020 without any charges. On-trade establishments that are outside the identified hotspots should be allowed to operate in a phased manner in order to prevent crowding.

For instance, only takeaways of alcohol and food be allowed from April 15th to April 30th and from May 1st to June 15th premises may be allowed to operate at 50% of its seating capacity.

Home Deliveries

One of the key recommendations that CIABC is making is for allowing home deliveries of alcohol subject to necessary checks and diligence. With most food delivery companies already working they could also be enrolled to delivery alcohol. Also, shops should be asked to enrol for home delivery through online applications.

And in order to further the cause the Government may charge a fee, this being an addition to license. Customers can place an order online or over phone, along with an ID proof establishing age and the delivery limit of the amount of liquor delivered or frequency of delivery can be defined.

Indian and Global companies shift production to Hand Sanitizers

By Bhavya Desai

With the alcobeverage business coming to a standstill due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most companies across the globe and in India have ramped up their production of hand sanitizers and donations to the governments to fight the global pandemic.
With most hand sanitizers using atleast 60% of alcohol content and the shortage in supply of products in the market, it was only a matter of time that most companies would help the government with supplies. Most companies in the industry have used the alcohol in stock to produce designated quantities of sanitizers leaving aside the rest for regular alcohol production. All sanitizers that have been produced contain more than the minimum alcohol content recommended by the World Health Organization.
Both Indian as well as international companies have joined the effort to fight the pandemic and help the government efforts.

Diageo India donates ENA
For instance, Diageo India, the country’s largest beverage alcohol company is using its 15 manufacturing units across India to manufacture hand sanitizers and donate ENA to the sanitizer industry. The manufacturing units are repurposed to produce around 300,000 lts of hand sanitizers and donate 500,000 lts of Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) to the sanitizer industry to make (2 million units of 250 ml each) hand sanitizers. The company has also pledged to support trade with a Rs 30 million health insurance cover for bartenders associated with the Diageo World Class programme in India.
Similar initiatives are also being carried out globally by Diageo ranging from relief support and new flexible trading measures.

Pernod Ricard India deploys Mobile Medical Clinics
Pernod Ricard India Foundation has deployed Mobile Medical Clinics in local communities and villages across its 11 operation sites in India. These mobile clinics are conducting mass sanitation and also providing COVID-19 awareness sessions to the local communities in local languages. The company says the aim of conducting such sessions is to address the wide spread misinformation amid the crisis.
Their global parent company is donating pure alcohol to produce sanitising gel in France and has also partnered with the White House to distribute the critical hand sanitiser across the US. The group has also deployed the production facilities of its Corby Spirit and Wine Limited and Walkerville Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery in Ontario, Canada to produce and distribute hand sanitiser where needed.

Radico Khaitan supports with relief fund
Radico Khaitan initially contributed by producing alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizers. In continuation to its efforts to help the government after providing sanitizers and other necessary products since the beginning of the outbreak the company has also contributed Rs 1 crore to the Uttar Pradesh Covid Care Fund to help the state government. They are manufacturing and delivering the Radico 8PM Extra Strong Hand Sanitizer to primary health care authorities, government hospitals and police stations in a number of states including Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Hyderabad, Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
Until now Radico has contributed Rs. 21 lakh to relief fund of Covid-19 through District Magistrate, Rampur- Uttar Pradesh. Distributed 500 lts of hand sanitizer (worth Rs 1.5 lakh) free of cost to district administration of Rampur daily. Supplied about 17,000 litres of hand sanitiser (worth approximately Rs 30 lakh) to the Rampur district administration and several other districts of Uttar Pradesh including Moradabad, Amroha, Mathura and Sambhal. Distributed 25,000 face masks, providing free ration and food packets to newspaper hawkers and weaker sections in Rampur

Bacardi produces 70,000 liters of hand sanitizers
Bacardi India has commenced production of hand sanitizers at its co-packing facility in Telangana, an initiative the company plans to roll out in additional states where it has co-packing manufacturing facilities. Bacardi will be producing 70,000 liters of hand sanitizers in India, which will be distributed primarily to district government hospitals in these states. The company is working closely with local district authorities to ensure a steady supply to the hospitals.

Beam Suntory India partners with NRAI for support
Beam Suntory India partnered with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) to pledge a support of INR 1 Crore which will be used to provide relief to thousands of staff of member restaurants and their families at this period of the lockdown. The company has launched a ‘learn and earn’ program to encourage bartenders to utilize their time at home effectively by taking up online training modules.
Whereas the global company has partnered with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS) to pledge US$1 million in support of bar and restaurant employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Beam Suntory is also working with its partner distributors to help local organisations support the drinks trade in their communities. They include Major Brands, Badger Liquor, Fedway Associates, Allied Beverages Group, Empire Distributors, Best Brands, and Horizon Beverage Group.

John Distilleries uses distilleries in Bangalore, Davanagere and Goa to help govt
John Distilleries, the makers of some of the best Indian Single Malts are also producing hand sanitizers at their distilleries in Bangalore, Davanagere and Goa. These supplies will be donated to healthcare institutions in India to help overcome the shortage of hand sanitisers due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The company is joining hands with the Government to combat the shortage of hand sanitizers by using the extra neutral alcohol (ENA) at its facilities to manufacture Alcohol Based sanitizers. Infact The Sazerac Company, who have invested in John Distilleries and are North America’s largest producer of distilled spirits have also started massive production of hand sanitisers to combat the demand across America.

Jagatjit Industries introduces Ayurvedic sanitizers
Jagatjit Industries has also started manufacturing ARISTOCRAT and  HUMASTE hand sanitizers. Both the products have 70% alcohol content with the difference between the two is that Humaste is an Ayurvedic formulation. The company is also manufacturing 5 Litre jerrycans for institutions and hospitals.

Cheers Group helps Goa govt
Cheers Group from Goa also has started its supply of hand sanitizers for free to the Goa government officials, healthcare professionals and volunteers fighting against the pandemic.

CMJ Breweries donates in Meghalaya
CMJ Breweries earmarked a donation of Rs. 1 crore to the Govt. of Meghalaya with the proposed funds for use for suppling hand sanitizers worth approximately Rs. 50 lacs. Sanitizing chemicals to fire fighters and also distribution of rice, dal, oil and vegetables to the daily wagers.

Four Pillars diversifies to manufacture hand sanitiser
Other international companies are also driving such initiatives to support their home governments. According to a Moodie Report Australian craft spirits company, Four Pillars has diversified its operations to produce a new one-litre hand sanitiser named ‘Heads, Tails and Clean Hands’. It will contain 80% ethyl alcohol, is contained in bottles which had previously been destined for the duty free market. The initial plans are to make about 20,000 litres of Heads, Tails and Clean Hands for the consumer market.

Amber Beverage Group helps in Latvia
SPI Group-owned Amber Beverage Group also began producing the ‘Virudes’ hand sanitiser in its Latvijas Balzams Factory in Latvia. This is the same factory that produces the company’s Stolichnaya Vodka, Elit Vodka, Riga Black Balsam, and Moskovskaya Vodka brands. The Virudes hand sanitiser is initially produced in a 4-litre volumes, which can be further redistributed to smaller containers. The company has made this move in order to fulfil the shortage of in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. The product is being supplied to hospitals and public health institutions as well as major retail stores.

Remy Cointreau donates in China and world
While many companies that have facilities that can produce hand sanitizers, other manufacturers like the France based Remy Cointreau have decided to donate fund for equipment in China through their local subsidiary there. The company has also deployed their production facilities of Rémy Martin in Cognac, Cointreau in Angers, and the Distillery of the Domaine des Hautes Glaces in Triève to donate neutral alcohol to health organisations. Neutral alcohol is used to produce hand sanitiser for pharmacies, hospitals, and public health workers within each region. The Rémy Martin brand has also donated 8,000 surgical and FFP2 masks to hospitals in Cognac and Saintes.

Zamora Company helps in home country of Spain
With Spain being one of the most affected countries globally, Zamora Company has launched a series of relief measures to alleviate the increasing financial pressures faced by its customers in Spain. The Spanish spirits company announced a donation of EUR €400,000 in support of the most disadvantaged groups in the country. The funds will be directed to NGO’s such as Caritas, Red Cross, and The Food Bank Foundation.

IndSpirit 2020 exhibition postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings from Ambrosia Magazine.

In light of the current events and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we have decided to postpone the forthcoming Indspirit 2020 exhibition to be held on 20th March 2020 at the Andaz hotel, Aerocity, New Delhi.

People’s safety is of our prime concern and following the consultation of the alcobev industry and its leaders, this decision has been taken. We have already identified two possible dates for the show and will confirm the same in a few days. These dates are likely to be in the month of April 2020 and the final date announcement will be made soon.

The venue, layout and all other things for the show will remain the same for the new dates.

Carnuntum is the newest DAC winegrowing region

The region has reached agreement on the three levels Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine), and continues to emphasise the traditional and highly prized varieties: white wine vinified from Chardonnay, Weissburgunder or Grüner Veltliner, red wine from Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.

The family of Austrian winegrowing regions with DAC status continues to grow: after thorough consideration and regional consensus, the winegrowing region Carnuntum submitted a draft DAC regulation, which has now been signed by the Federal Minister for Sustainability & Tourism Maria Patek. This makes Carnuntum the fourteenth Austrian winegrowing region with specific protections in place for regionally typical wines.

Willi Klinger, managing director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) summarises: ‘With the DAC regulation that has now been enacted, Carnuntum is also embarking on the successful path of origin-based marketing. The winegrowers have succeeded in working out a profile that will unmistakably express and convey the characteristics of their region in both red and white wine, and will ensure even greater distinctiveness’.

Three levels, regionally typical grape varieties

Like the Steiermark, Kamptal, Kremstal and Traisental, the region Carnuntum – located in the eastern part of Austria between Vienna and the Slovak border, encompassing an area of 906 hectares under vines – will henceforth implement a three-level DAC regulation: Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). The varietal palette focuses on the region’s marquee players: for white wines Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grüner Veltliner, and the reds Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Monovarietal Carnuntum DAC wines must be vinified exclusively from these varieties, while blends must contain at least two thirds of one of them. This means that cuvées can also contain up to a third of other approved Qualitätswein (quality wine) varieties – for example, in a red wine, Sankt Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Flavour profile

Carnuntum has been showing very well now for quite some time, with distinctive red wines and robustly structured whites. The new DAC regulation stipulates that all wines must conform to the flavour profile ‘dry’, and that red wines must also have an alcohol content of at least 12%. In addition, Ortswein and Riedenwein must be given adequate time to develop their distinctive and expressive character: the application for obtaining a Federal Inspection Number may not be submitted before 15 March for white wine and not before 1 November in the year following the harvest for red wine.

Rubin Carnuntum will remain

The established brand Rubin Carnuntum will remain in place parallel to the DAC regulation, and will continue to provide a guarantee of special and regionally typical wines vinified from the variety Zweigelt.

Was does DAC signify?

Districtus Austriae Controllatus (DAC) is a legal indication of origin for regionally typical Austrian Qualitätswein. So if a wine label features the name of a winegrowing region in combination with ‘DAC’, one is guaranteed a wine of quality that is typical of the region. A DAC wine may only be produced from the grape varieties specified for that DAC region and must comply with all requirements of the regulation established by the region. There are currently 14 DAC winegrowing regions in Austria. Wines that do not meet the DAC requirements will bear the name of the respective federal state as an indication of provenance, as part of the variety of available wines at this level of origin.