Thursday, April 18, 2024

Beer is essential after all; government allows breweries to operate

The federal government has invited the beer industry to resume production and distribution under the measures issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

The federal Agricultural Ministry (Sader) advised the industry group Cerveceros de México that beer production is now considered an essential activity.

Signed April 6 by Sader publicity director Santiago José Arguello Campos, the letter invites the industry to continue with production and distribution, taking into account the safety measures issued by health authorities.

Beer makers didn’t have to be told twice. Grupo Modelo, which halted production on Sunday, has already begun to restock empty refrigerators in Oxxo and other convenience stores.

Heineken, which brews the popular brands Tecate, Indio, XX, Coors Light and Miller Lite among others, said it is preparing to go back to work.

The federal government’s coronavirus emergency declaration did not include beer production among so-called essential activities, forcing its stoppage across the country.

But after incidents of panic buying and a call from an industry group representing small businesses to declare the beverage an essential agro-industrial product, the government gave in and reversed its decision.

Beer making now joins food production, fishing, livestock farming, agro-industrial activities and the petroleum, chemical and transportation industries as essential.

However, its availability for sale is still not guaranteed in those states and municipalities that have implemented restrictions on alcohol sales. Nuevo León was one of the first to do so on the grounds that citizens cooped up in quarantine might get violent should they be allowed to imbibe.

However, a researcher in Yucatán claimed this week that the enforced abstinence from alcohol could well fuel physical violence.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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