Love in the time of coronavirus

Welcome to Duty Calls. This regular feature aims to shine a light on some of the most laudable examples of altruism and sustainability within the travel retail industry by companies that go beyond the call of duty. In this special edition we look at how companies have reacted to the COVID-19 outbreak with acts of kindness, human spirit and generosity.

Click on the video to view some of the brightest examples of human kindness – from our industry and beyond

With lockdown measures being implemented by governments all over the world, the drinks business is one of the hardest-hit amid the crisis. As bars and restaurants face increasing economic pressures, several key industry leaders have stepped up to answer their call.

Beam Suntory and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits have partnered to donate US$1 million to support American bartenders; while Bacardi Limited launched its #RaiseYourSpirits campaign to benefit bars and restaurants forced to close during the crisis. Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson Whiskey also donated US$500,000 to help the United States Bartender’s Guild as part of its #LovethyBartender campaign.

Brown-Forman is donating US$1 million to COVID-19 response funds. The intention is to support multiple locations and agencies depending on community and industry needs. The Jack Daniel Distillery in Tennessee and the Brown-Forman Distillery in Kentucky as well as the Herradura Distillery in Amatitan, Mexico, and Canadian Mist Distillery in Collingwood, Canada, have begun producing and packaging hand sanitiser to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Diageo-owned Guinness pledged £1 million to support UK bartenders, family-owned Zamora Company donated €400,000 to various Spanish non-profit organisations, and Campari Group contributed €1 million to assist healthcare workers in Milan.

“It is a duty for us as a socially responsible company to contribute during a situation as exceptional as this, and for this reason we will spare no effort in helping those who we believe are more vulnerable right now.”

– Zamora Company CEO Emilio Restoy

In addition, Pernod Ricard, González Byass, The Shed Distillery, Rémy Cointreau, and Bacardi Limited have also repurposed some of their factories to supply alcohol and distribute sanitising gel to hospitals and medical facilities around the world.

In Italy – which has become a virus epicentre in Europe – luxury fashion brands have banded together to support the country’s hospitals and public health workers. Giorgio Armani, Moncler, Prada, Versace, and Maison Valentino have offered substantial donations, medical supplies, and medical equipment to aid hard-hit hospitals in Milan and in Northern Italy.

Coccinelle, which temporarily closed all of its directly managed boutiques in Italy, launched its ‘Coccinelle Ci Mette Il Cuore’ or ‘Coccinelle puts your heart into it’ fundraiser, which benefits public health workers braving the front lines in the war against COVID-19.

The Bacardi Corporation distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico – which is responsible for 80% of the company’s rum production – has partnered with Olein Refinery to supply the raw materials needed to produce more than 1.7 million units of 10-ounce hand sanitiser

On St. Patrick’s Day, Diageo-owned beer brand Guinness pledged £1 million to support struggling bartenders

Luxury goods group Kering deployed the production facilities of Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gucci to produce essential surgical masks and medical overalls to better protect public health workers in France and Italy.

Every major beauty company has also thrown their weight to tackle COVID-19 on a global scale. The Estée Lauder Companies made substantial donations to Doctors without Borders, the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, and The Red Cross Society of China. It has also deployed its Melville manufacturing facility to produce hand sanitiser for high-need groups and communities.

L’Oréal Group announced a comprehensive Europe-wide solidarity programme to support all of its stakeholders during the crisis. The company repurposed a number of factories to manufacture sanitising gel and utilised the networks of La Roche-Posay and Garnier to distribute the gels across Europe. The company also donated €1 million to a number of non-profit organisations and offered its partner VSE/SMEs some financial relief.

Luxury giant LVMH has deployed the production facilities of Christian Dior, Guerlain, and Parfums Givenchy to produce hydroalcoholic gels; while Coty adapted its manufacturing sites to produce the essential hydroalcoholic gel for medical and emergency services across Europe.

Clarins Group also committed its production facilities to produce and deliver hand sanitiser for French hospitals. As of writing, the group has already produced and delivered 14,500 large-format 400ml bottles of the much-needed sanitising gels across the country.

The Clarins Group is delivering large-format hand sanitiser bottles to French hospitals

LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault was quick to instruct his company to prepare its production sites to manufacture hydroalcoholic gel for use by public authorities

Unilever – the world’s biggest soap company – has pledged to donate €100 million worth of soap, sanitiser, and food to communities all over the world; and offered €500 million worth of financial relief to all of its stakeholders across its extended value chain.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope summed up the extraordinary measures with a message of hope and solidarity. “It’s going to take action from everyone in society to overcome this challenge, and we are ready to play our part and fight this together,” he said.

“It's going to take action from everyone in society to overcome this challenge, and we are ready to play our part and fight this together.”

– Unilever CEO Alan Jope

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine Duty Calls feature highlights environmental and socially responsible initiatives around the globe where people and the planet are the priority. If you have CSR projects, big or small, that you would like featured in Duty Calls, especially those related to tackling the impact of COVID-19, please contact Hannah Tan-Gillies at

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The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 278 | 7 April 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 12 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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