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'The Buckfast stops here' popular tonic wine to cease production with immediate effect

The lockdown of the UK due to the spread of the coronavirus has halted the production of Buckfast with 'immediate effect'.

Published: March 24, 2020

Fans of the tonic wine will be disappointed to hear the the production of Buckfast has been halted due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The official statement from Buckfast was posted on social media, and reads: "Given the unprecedented Covid-19 situation, we wanted to take time to update you on our position.

"With immediate effect our offices and production lines will temporarily close, this decision was not taken lightly, however we must act on the Governments advice.

"Our safety and wellbeing of our employees, and the wider community is of the utmost importance. We must play our part in helping to protect our NHS by asking our employees to stay at home.

"With the temporary closure, our distribution network will be freed up to play it’s part in delivering vital essential commodities across the United Kingdom at this time. Our production will commence as soon as we can. Thank you for your understanding."

Michael Onk founder of World Buckfast Day said: " Although Buckfast production has come to a temporary halt World Buckfast Day is still planned to go ahead in May, though the celebrations may be restricted to the kitchen, garden and living room rather than the local pub, club or restaurant.

"We will play it by ear and follow government advice over the next few weeks."

This move comes after the UK and Scottish governments announced that the country is effectively in lockdown in a bid to slow the coronavirus spread.

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All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close and the public urged to stay at home for at least three weeks.

Social media reactions

Fans took to social media to express their upset at the move, with one tweeting: "I do NOT need to hear this right now!"

Another added: "Dont mind me just popping to the shop to snatch up a few cold ones then."

One user from Edinburgh poked fun at Glasgow , saying: " Buckfast halts production and Greggs closes. Let's all light a candle for Glasgow. Our thoughts are with you at this trying time."
One quipped: "Surely Buckfast was number 1 essential priority for Scotland and the six counties? I can see riots in Glasgow and Belfast now!"
While another asked: "Why they not doing Buckfast hand sanitiser? Would sell like hotcakes"

Ruth Davidson MSP welcomed the move tweeting: "Buckfast acting responsibly."

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Buckfast history

The popular tonic wine, which is made in the south of England, has a huge market in Scotland where it has had more than its fair share of controversy over the years.

First created by a religious order in an Abbey in Devon, the drink has gone to become huge business, returning J Chandler & Co, the company that distributes it, £4.3m in pre-tax profits for 2017.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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