ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas’ Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) says it will no longer buy from four alcoholic brands because of its ties with Russia.
“If this makes a difference symbolically and if this makes a difference to the bottom line, we’re more than willing to participate,” said Scott Hardin, spokesperson for Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Hardin says ABC met with 40 alcohol distributors statewide and asked them to stop selling alcohol associated with Russia due to its ongoing attack on Ukraine.
“We need to do everything we can to help the Ukrainians,” said Springdale Liquor Association President Jim Phillips.
Phillips says this does not affect their bottom line because they do not carry Russian vodkas.
“I think people that were drinking Russian vodka where they’re available, they’ll switch to something else and there’s nothing like drinking American products,” Phillips said.
ABC says the decision for distributors to stop importing Russian alcohol was an easy decision to get behind.
“We have about 40 wholesalers and state and they said 'yes we’re on board we’re more than willing to do this,'” Hardin said.
However, ABC says there was another option where they could have banned the sale of Russian alcohol. However, it would have hurt Arkansas' business.
“All of that product, it’s already in stock that they already ordered is in warehouses, liquor stores, and bars. They would have to get rid of that and just the cost would be on the wholesaler or the retailer,” Hardin said.
ABC says it will continue not to buy alcohol associated with Russia as long as needed. Phillips says they do carry Ukrainian liquor at some stores.
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