PARIS 8 September 2021 ecoSPIRITS announced today that it has signed a Licensed Operator Agreement for France with a new company that has been formed by industry-leader La Maison du Whisky and spirits and wine industry veteran Jeremy Moreau. The new partnership will bring ecoSPIRITS’ closed-loop spirits technology to one of the European Union’s largest and most high profile spirits markets, starting in November 2021.

Home to more than 67 million people and the European Union’s second largest economy, France is one of the most important spirits markets in the world, in terms of both production and consumption. Spirits have centuries of rich history in France, stretching well beyond the well-known Cognac category. Modern France has also emerged as a global leader in sustainability policy, passing a landmark Anti-Waste Law in 2020 that enshrines circular economy principles into national law.

The L’Aubrac region is one of France’s natural heritage treasures

The famed Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris

The award-winning Little Red Door Bar in Paris

Founded in 1956 by Georges Bénitah, La Maison du Whisky has long been a market leader in fine spirits. With more than 200 employees, LMDW’s expertise spans spirits import and distribution, rare spirits collection, sourcing and discovery, and spirits events management and publishing. Their Whisky Live is the world’s premier whisky show, hosted each year in Paris and in other cities around the world. These broad capabilities will strengthen the ecoSPIRITS France platform and help drive scale in circular spirits in one of the world’s largest spirits markets.

LMDW’s flagship retail store on Rue d'Anjou in Paris

Whisky Live Paris is held annually in Paris

Whisky Magazine, published by LMDW

eS Operator France SAS, the ecoSPIRITS Licensed Operator for the French market, will be led by Jeremy Moreau, a wine and spirits industry veteran who has spent time in senior leadership roles for both LMDW and award-winning independent spirits distributor Proof & Company in France and Asia. Moreau will also take a substantial shareholding in the new joint venture.

Jeremy Moreau, Président, eS Operator France SAS

“I am very proud to bring ecoSPIRITS’ circular spirits packaging technology to France. The French have a long and deep history with spirits production and enjoyment and French consumers are savvy connoisseurs and always on the lookout for new and amazing products. Furthermore, there is a nationwide commitment to working towards a sustainable future: the French thirst for sustainable solutions for their favourite tipples. ecoSPIRITS’ innovative solution tackles numerous waste and supply change problems, while providing an elegant serve to imbibers. Having worked with both Thierry Bénitah during my time at La Maison du Whisky and Paul Gabie during our time together at Proof & Company, I know first-hand their commitment to innovation and sustainability in the spirits industry.”

Thierry Bénitah, CEO, LMDW

“The need to reduce waste is no longer a mere utopia but the reality of the 21st century. LMDW seeks to always remain at the forefront of key issues and wants to meet this strong demand from professionals and consumers via a bulk spirits solution and is happy to launch ecoSPIRITS’ in France”

As part of the expansion into the French market, ecoSPIRITS will welcome a number of new brand partners to the ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner Program. Plantation Rum, which helped pioneer the ecoSPIRITS technology in Asia Pacific starting in 2018, will be available in ecoTOTE™ format in its home market. The French launch will also see Citadelle Gin join the ecoSPIRITS network, making a French gin available in low-waste packaging for the first time. FAIR Spirits, the leading fair trade spirits brand and an early pioneer of ethical sourcing and sustainable thinking in the industry, will join the Climate Partner Program, first with its FAIR Quinoa Vodka. Award-winning producer Calvados Christian Drouin will make their Sélection Calvados available in ecoTOTE™ format, rounding out an initial offering of leading French spirits. Additional brand partners will be announced in the coming months.

Alexandre Koiransky, Founder, FAIR Spirits

“The FAIR brand was built on a mission to support farmers in developing economies. By helping small farmers make a living, we make sure that not only they can have a decent life and send their kids to school, but we also ensure that they can support their local community, local arts, local events, local music, all what we call culture. The power of Fair Trade is not only to give back, it is a real opportunity for people to keep being who they are and sustain their way of life. Fair Trade is an opportunity to protect cultural diversity around the globe. Partnering with ecoSPIRITS is a fantastic opportunity to combine our commitment to the Fair Trade movement together with a commitment to lower CO2 emissions”.

The FAIR range of spirits are designed to be fair to the planet, and the farmer.

FAIR Quinoa Vodka

Guillaume Drouin and Christian Drouin (2nd and 3rd generation of the Drouin family)

“With a positive carbon footprint of 2.9 kg of CO2e for each bottle produced, Calvados is certainly the greenest spirit in the world. So we are naturally very happy to participate to the ecoSPIRITS project which will enable us to go even further in our willingness to produce and to deliver our calvados with the lowest possible carbon footprint.”

The Calvados Christian Drouin distillery in Pays d'Auge

Calvados Christian Drouin Sélection

Angélique Jullienne, Marketing and Communication Director for Maison Ferrand

“We, at Maison Ferrand, are delighted to see long-time partner La Maison du Whisky starting off this new collaboration with ecoSPIRITS. As one of the first companies participating in the ecoSPIRITS project, we were immediately won over by its distribution approach, in which we saw the future of the industry,” notes Angélique Jullienne, Marketing and Communication Director for Maison Ferrand, “The sustainable initiative echoes our values and actions talk louder than words for us. Our West Indies Rum Distillery, the home of Plantation Rum, in Barbados is the first in the Caribbean certified BonSucro chain of custody with a goal of becoming a zero-carbon footprint distillery by 2030. Our new Citadelle Gin distillery in Cognac shares in our sustainable objectives with local sourcing of bontanicals and cultivating our own juniper trees.”

The Plantation rum range

Citadelle Gin

ecoPLANT No. 017 will be sited at LMDW’s state-of-the-art warehouse facility in the Greater Paris region, with closed loop spirits service first offered to on-trade venues in metro Paris, then expanding nationwide over the course of 2022. For interested trade and consumers, ecoSPIRITS will be present at Whisky Live 2021 in Paris in partnership with FAIR Spirits, Calvados Christian Drouin and Plantation Rum from 25-27 September 2021.

Paul Gabie, CEO, ecoSPIRITS

“In selecting partners for the all-important French market, we are confident that we have found an excellent fit with Thierry Bénitah, Jean-François Briand, and the LMDW team. They have long been pioneers in the industry, and their commitment to sustainability innovation is just the next chapter in that journey,” notes Paul Gabie, ecoSPIRITS CEO, “Having worked closely with Jeremy Moreau for years during our time together at Proof & Company, I am also confident that he is the right leader and partner to drive the transition to circular packaging for our Climate Partners in French market.”

ecoSPIRITS closed loop service will be available in France from November 2021. Bars, restaurants, hotels, distributors and brands that are interested in joining the ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner Program in France can get in touch via email at [email protected] or [email protected].

About LMDW

Since its creation in 1956, La Maison du Whisky has been supporting the development of the whisky and spirits market in France, anticipating its major trends and enlightening the choices of an ever-growing public of amateurs. In six decades, La Maison du Whisky has successively – and simultaneously – assumed the roles of retailer, wholesaler, distributor, importer and exporter of fine whiskys and spirits on a national, European and global scale. Faithful to its original commitments, attached to its entrepreneurial and human heritage, La Maison du Whisky is distinguished by an endlessly renewed curiosity and by a permanent quest for perfection.

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About Citadelle Gin

Citadelle, the first French artisanal gin. It all started on a summer day. The Charente sun kisses the rows of vines, the ocean breeze caresses the juniper branches. Suddenly, we want to take a break. A few oysters, a lemon… we’ll work later. At Château de Bonbonnet, we know how to create spirits that have a soul. That July day, the desire was too strong: we had to create THE gin, the one that would encapsulate all the spirit of this moment, of this climate, of this region. Our castle gin! Obviously – as often with family or enthusiasts – the tone was high and the debate was lively. How do you find the perfect spice pairing that will embellish the essential juniper berry? The idea was clear to everyone: we wanted to find the sun in this gin.

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About Plantation Rum

The Plantation rums collection is divided into two distinct ranges, blends and vintages. The blends are blends refined by the Maison Ferrand cellar master. The vintages, which taste different from one vintage to the next, come directly from the barrel and are available in limited quantities. Traditionally designed, produced in rum distilleries and aged in barrels under the tropical sun, the rums of the Plantation range benefit from a unique aging process: “double aging” – at the appropriate time, the rums are brought back from their country of origin at Domaine de Bonbonnet in Cognac, and matured for several additional months in small oak barrels specific to Maison Ferrand.

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About FAIR Spirits

FAIR is the leading Fair Trade liquor brand. The hallmark of this range (rum, vodka, gin and liqueurs) is in the combined use of fair trade, sustainable development and French craftsmanship for producing these products. The brand has a philosophy of fair deals for all partners involved in the production chain. This aim has taken them across the world in order to produce high-quality spirits from the finest ingredients.

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About Calvados Christian Drouin

Three generations from a family of enthusiasts have now handed down control of the Christian Drouin house, one of the greatest gems in the production of Calvados and in particular Calvados Pays d’Auge. Established in 1991 on a former stud farm in Coudray-Rabut near Pont l´Evêque, the estate boasts an exceptional range. In possession of the best and most comprehensive collection of old vintage Calvados – the oldest dating back to 1939 – Christian Drouin is to Calvados what Gordon & MacPhail is to whisky – a temple! Its cellar masters have been awarded numerous prizes in recognition of their skills.

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