Foodservice equipment giants Rational and ITW have blocked shipments to Russia in light of the invasion on Ukraine, officials at both companies have confirmed.
Combi oven maker Rational has an office in Moscow, but will no longer supply the market there. Deliveries to Belarus have also been put on hold.
The Germany-based manufacturer, which employs 2,200 staff worldwide, said it was working to help those affected by the devastating scenes coming out of Ukraine.
Head of investor relations, Stefan Arnold, explained: “Rational has operations in Russia and Ukraine. That’s why we have a crisis management team in place to deal with this difficult situation.
“For us, at this time, it is particularly important to take care of our employees and their families. That’s why we closed our Ukraine operations temporarily and helped the described persons to come to safer places. For the time being, we stopped deliveries to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.”
ITW, whose stable of brands includes Hobart, Foster, Traulsen and Vulcan, has also halted shipments of its equipment to Russia.
A spokesperson for the company said: “ITW stands with the people of Ukraine and denounces the Russian government’s acts of aggression.
“Beyond compliance with all applicable sanctions, we have made the decision to discontinue all ITW shipments into Russia, effective immediately. Our thoughts are with those affected by the conflict, and our priority is the safety of our approximately 160 ITW colleagues in the region.”
Electrolux Professional is another brand that has pulled the plug on Russia indefinitely.
Jacob Broberg, senior vice president investor relations and communications at Electrolux Professional, said: “We have decided to stop orders and will not make deliveries to Russia and Belarus until further notice.
“We are, of course, following the international sanctions imposed and proactively supporting the humanitarian activities to help the Ukrainian population by monetary donations to the Red Cross and are also matching donations from our employees. Russia is a small market for us, representing less than 1% of our turnover.”
It is understood that other major international foodservice equipment manufacturers having taken similar measures with regards to halting the supply of product to Russia.
Up to now, larger catering equipment brands have typically served the Russian market through a combination of sales offices in Moscow and partnerships with local kitchen project houses.
Multinational chains McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks all said today they were ceasing operations in Russia until further notice.