Irish Distillers was formed in 1966 following the merger of three of the great Irish Whiskey distilleries, John Jameson & Son, established in Dublin in 1780; John Power & Son, founded in Dublin in 1791 and the Cork Distilleries Company, which dates to 1825. Each of these distilleries had strong traditions of working with and supporting the local communities they operated in. This tradition lives in to this day through Irish Distillers’ strong focus on community engagement.
To maximise the impact of our community engagement we have defined our ‘community’ as the communities of Cork and Dublin in the Republic of Ireland where we have operations and Belfast in Northern Ireland as part of our joint venture distribution company Dillon Bass. We have also identified the Irish whiskey industry as a key community for us where we can add significant value by working with our industry partners on a number of initiatives to increase economic and positive social impact of this key indigenous sector. We believe that by narrowing our areas of focus we can make more strategic and targeted interventions to help develop our communities.
The three types of initiatives that we will support to deliver shared value are in the below areas:
We support people in developing skills that will create value in our communities. This is achieved through education and skills development initiatives like: scholarships; internships and graduate programmes. Examples of our emphasis on opportunity focussed investment include partnerships with Dublin City University and University College Cork education access programmes.
Irish Distillers’ heritage stems from the entrepreneurial passion of the forefathers of Irish whiskey. To this end, Irish Distillers backs activities that foster entrepreneurialism. One example of this type of support is our partnership with Inner City Enterprise in Dublin by providing corporate donation and skills-based volunteering that helps to advise and assist unemployed people in Dublin’s inner city to set up their own businesses or create their own self-employment.
Irish Distillers strives to improve the social and economic well-being of the local communities where it has a presence. Staff at each of our sites nominate a ‘site charity’ which we then work with in partnership for two to three years. We also often match funding for fundraising efforts by the sites. We are always interested in talking to organisations that align with our areas of focus. Our staff are always seeking out opportunities to help charities that have volunteering opportunities, as each member of staff receives two volunteering days per year.