Distell-owned Amarula has been recognised as Brand of the Year at the prestigious 2017 World Branding Awards.

The awards were held at a ceremony at Kensington Palace, London on 11 October. Amarula was honoured alongside other companies who have advanced the community through worthy initiatives for both industry and consumer.

There were 210 winners from 2,800 nominated brands. Judging included three parts: brand valuation, consumer market research and public online voting.

Amarula Global Marketing Manager Maijaliina Hansen said: “Amarula has always been celebrated for its firm commitment to quality, with 17 international spirit awards over the last three decades, including the annual Gold Liqueur Masters Award at Global Spirits Masters competition. We are honoured to accept this Brand of the Year award that recognises the work done in conserving and protecting Africa’s natural wildlife through initiatives like the Amarula Trust that was created in 2002 to raise funds as a non-profit organisation.”

In 2016 the Amarula Trust formed a partnership with global conservation organisation Wildlife Direct and its CEO Dr. Paula Kahumbu, with the shared vision to drive conservation through education in the community. Every 15 minutes an elephant disappears, and by 2030 Africa’s elephants could be extinct.

The ‘ellie-less’ bottle forms part of the #DontLetThemDisappear campaign, an initiative which seeks to raise global awareness about ivory poaching and the work being done by Amarula Trust and WildlifeDirect in the fight against ivory poaching

With less than 400,000 elephants left in Africa, the brand is working to help protect them and Africa’s heritage. To raise awareness worldwide in 2017, Amarula launched limited-edition bottles without the iconic African elephant to put an end to the ivory trade.

Amarula was the only brand in the Alcoholic Spirits Cream Liqueur category from South Africa to be selected for the 2017 Awards. Amarula joins the ranks of other South African winners including DStv, MTN, Nando’s, and Standard Bank, and iconic global brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton and Mercedes-Benz.

Maijaliina concluded: “As much as we would love to claim this award as our own, the honour must be shared with Africa and the iconic elephants that are intimately connected to the brand through our African roots and the wild marula fruit. We don’t plant the marula trees, they grow wild where they choose, and the fruit is handpicked by local communities, to create the smooth taste of Amarula. Through these African roots, we proudly celebrate the vibrant pulse of this exotic continent, its wildlife and its people, to inspire the world.”