The nation’s beer and spirit makers were today welcoming the lifting of the ban on alcohol sales as part of Phase Two of the national reopening strategy, but strongly urged Barbadians to drink responsibly.
Spokesman for the Barbados Alcohol Industry Association (BAIA) Raphael Grisoni, Managing Director of Mount Gay Distilleries, said: “We are thankful to be able to have our employees back on the job so that they can continue to provide for their families and also to be able to play our part in stimulating the economy. However, we want to remind Barbadians to be responsible.
“Please follow the guidelines set out by Government as it relates to the sale of alcohol only on licensed premises as well as the prohibition of consumption on these premises. In other words, we should only be consuming alcohol in our homes during this time, not in rum shops, restaurants, at parties or gatherings.
“We want to reiterate that BAIA is strongly opposed to the abuse of alcohol consumption by any person, as well as the sale, promotion, and consumption of alcohol by minors under any circumstance. It is our role is to educate the public on the responsible consumption of alcohol and to develop support measures that will limit its abuse and possible contribution to non-communicable diseases.”
Grisoni noted that during the last few months the wine, beer and spirit industry and its more than 3,000 direct employees had been dealt a harsh blow by the interruption of nearly all tourism linked businesses, namely hotels, bars, restaurants, tours, beach vendors and other sports activities.
He said: “The ease for the industry will not only benefit manufacturers of alcoholic beverages including Banks Breweries, West Indies Rum Distillery, Foursquare Rum Distillery, St Nicholas Abbey and Mount Gay but local distribution companies that supply the product as well.”
Grisoni praised the Mottley administration for its management of the COVID-19 crisis on behalf of BAIA, adding: “We believe that this leadership has led to a containment of the virus in Barbados through the implementation of social distancing regulations, strict hygienic protocols, and the curfew.”
He stressed that BAIA is following the strict Health & Safety protocols outlined by Government, including the implementation of sanitized premises, the usage of gloves, masks, regular hand washing and social distancing on the plants and premises, in efforts to protect their employees and customers.
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