Sainsbury’s and Waitrose latest to pull Russian products from shelves

Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are the latest supermarkets to stop selling products sourced or originating from Russia, following in the footsteps of Morrisons and Co-op, which made the move yesterday.

Both Sainsbury’s and John Lewis partnership – which owns Waitrose – made the announcement this afternoon, just a week and a half after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Waitrose will be removing Russian vodka and one line of pizza oven pellets from its range and has said it is working closely with its suppliers to review products that have components of Russian origin.

In Sainsbury’s stores, shoppers will no longer be able to buy Russian Standard vodka or Karpayskiye black sunflower seeds, with the products being removed from shelves and online.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We stand united with the people of Ukraine. We have reviewed our product range and have decided to remove from sale all products that are 100% sourced from Russia.”

Read more: How are UK grocers supporting Ukraine refugees? 

The Big 4 grocer said it has also reviewed all JJ Whitley products which are currently made in Russia, and that because the supplier is moving all production to Chorley in the UK by the end of this month, it  will continue to sell those products.

Sainsbury’s has also re-named ‘Chicken Kiev’ to ‘Chicken Kyiv’, with the new packaging available in the coming weeks.

The supermarket announced earlier this week that it would be donating £2 million to its long-term partner Comic Relief to support the ongoing humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

“This money will go directly to support the crisis in Ukraine via a range of measures including distributing care packages and ensuring there are child protection measures in place, donating essential supplies to the reception centres as well as medical, legal and trauma support,” a spokesperson added.

From Friday 4 March, all customer donations made to Comic Relief through the Nectar app will go towards the humanitarian effort on the ground in Ukraine. Sainsbury’s will be matching those donations up to the value of £500,000.

Sainsbury’s has also shared a breakdown on where its £2m donation will be focused:

  • Distributing care packages to those in Ukraine
  • Essential supplies to the reception centres
  • Medical support as people cross the border
  • Legal advice and long-term help for refugees
  • Trauma-informed support for those crossing the borders and frontline humanitarian workers.

The retailers’ decision to remove Russian Standard is just the latest in a number of moves made by UK retailers to show solidarity as the invasion continues.

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