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By Andy Wood, also posted in News on 08/12/20
I want to express heartfelt thanks to our customers and our teams for their unwavering support throughout this pandemic. This year it has ravaged our communities and our way of life. With news of the vaccine, I am optimistic of better times ahead and tribute should be paid to the global scientific community who have moved so expertly and rapidly to give us all this hope.
Our industry has suffered terribly on the back of a relatively weak evidence base. From my lay perspective, it was clear the second wave started to take hold around September as other parts of the economy reopened. In this second wave, Government decided to close adjacent parts of the economy to lessen areas of potential transmission. In doing so, it would have been good for them to be open about this and provide an appropriate level of support for those sectors closed. We may not have agreed with it, but at least there would have been a shared understanding. Unfortunately, what the sector has experienced is pubs being demonised after their working so hard to make themselves Covid secure and responding positively to multiple changes in Government regulations. Our own pubs have been in the front line of this and I take my hat off to them for their determination, commitment and innovation. Personally, I continue to work with other leaders in our sector for an ongoing review of tiers and restrictions that are based on thorough scientific evidence. Of course, Adnams will never put its customers, its teams or communities at risk but there must surely be a better way. However, we collectively remain strong and resolute in ensuring that current rules and guidelines are strictly adhered to.
Three decades ago, the Company made a commitment to give 1% of its profits to support communities and individuals in need within a 25-mile radius of Southwold. That decision by the Directors at the time, including our Chairman, Jonathan Adnams, set the tone for the company we are today with our thoughtful and conscious approach to Capitalism. To date, more than 1,500 different organisations have been supported and more than £1.4 million donated. The company continues to make donations to the Adnams Community Trust during this pandemic, as patently need is greater than ever.
I am proud to share with you the news that Helen Williams from our Hadleigh store team has been recognised by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk and the High Sheriff. Helen was recognised for her outstanding service to the community in Suffolk during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a business, we too have been given the same award and I would like to thank Oliver Drury for leading this charge with his outstanding and tireless effort. I look forward to a time when we can all celebrate together. We are also planning with the Lieutenancy, early in the New Year, for the celebration of our 3rd Queens Award for Enterprise, Sustainable Development.
Creating wonderful experiences for our customers is central to what we do, and we pride ourselves on delivering conviviality, conversation and creating lasting memories. The team at The Swan in Southwold were recently inspected and awarded the prestigious AA four red star Award. Less than 80 hotels in the country have this accolade and this recognition demonstrates the commitment of the entire team. Liliane and her team have reopened and look forward to giving you a very warm Adnams welcome.
Fergus and his team have continued to brew and distil safely throughout the pandemic. We have recently introduced two wonderful new products, a sublime Cream Liqueur and Red Phantom, a rye IPA collaboration with Magic Rock. It was also wonderful to see our Finest Reserve Ruby Port win the Best Ruby Port in Good Housekeeping magazine. I can assure you that in 2021 we will bring even more exciting and distinctive drinks for you to enjoy.
I wish you and yours the very best for this festive period and beyond. My hope is that 2021 brings us all health, happiness and lots of good cheer.