Diageo has pledged a package of support for the drinks industry as it faces unprecedented challenges from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The package includes support for smaller retailers, whereby Diageo said it will provide flexibility on order size, to help these customers to manage their inventory in this fast-moving situation. This initiative will also be available to pubs and bars.

It is also pledging £1 million via its Guinness brand to support bartenders in Britain. This fund is intended for staff in pubs and bars to help with their wages.

Anyone working in the drinks trade will be give the opportunity to attend a complimentary Diageo Bar Academy Training Course, consisting of virtual training and online learning.

Dayalan Nayager, managing director Great Britain, Ireland and France at Diageo, said: “The British drinks trade is facing one of its most challenging times ever and we want. To help our communities when they need us most.

“We all need to come together to support the trade and I would urge all my fellow drinks producers to do what they can to help our British pubs, bars and retailers over the next few months.”

The measures will be introduced from March 23 onwards.