ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Today during the 2021 Legislative Conference, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) announced a new goal for the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative: train 25,000 beer distribution employees in total across the country to spot and report signs of human trafficking by the end of 2021.
NBWA surpassed its initial goal of training 10,000 employees from the July 2020 launch to the end of 2021, in part thanks to a monumental effort by beer distributors during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January. During that month alone, more than 5,000 employees joined the fight against human trafficking.
NBWA president and CEO Craig Purser announced the new goal today during the first day of live programing at the 2021 Legislative Conference, which is being hosted virtually for the first time.
“We have been blown away by the support our members have shown for the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative since its launch,” said Purser. “Our initial goal was to train just over 10,000 beer distributors to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking by the end of 2021. I am excited to announce that we have already exceeded that goal, and we hope to more than double our impact by training 25,000 employees by the end of this year.”
As part of the announcement, NBWA produced a video highlighting the outstanding work of distributors that are stepping up to combat human trafficking in their local communities. The video showcases the significance the Distributors Against Human Trafficking effort has had on the beer distribution industry.
Beer distributors have a strong reputation as stewards of their communities that are always willing to engage and serve their neighbors. This program has brought that sense of responsibility to a new level. Many members have highlighted that the training video was a wake-up call as well as a call to action.
“NBWA’s Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative has managed to mobilize tens of thousands of beer distributors across the country in the fight against human trafficking in its founding year,” said Camila Zolfaghari, executive director of Street Grace, a nonprofit focused on eradicated human trafficking. Zolfaghari’s experience fighting human trafficking has made her a valuable ally in building this initiative, and she frequently shares Distributors Against Human Trafficking as a blueprint for other industries’ human trafficking awareness campaigns. “The success of this initiative thus far makes clear that they’ll have no problem meeting their ambitious new goal by the end of this year. This increase in eyes and ears on the ground will make a difference as beer distributors play an important role in the critical fight against this awful crime.”
“Because of this campaign, more and more hardworking men and women across the country are looking for signs of human trafficking,” Purser continued. “Beer distributors are making a difference—they are helping save peoples’ lives. NBWA promises our continued support, and we will make our best effort to provide the resources necessary to keep beer distributors vigilant in this fight, ensuring they’re well positioned to do their part to eradicate this crime from the communities they love and know so well.”
About NBWA’s Human Trafficking Initiative: Working alongside a bipartisan group of state attorneys general and state alcohol regulators, the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative centers around an awareness training video train the more than 140,000 beer distribution employees in the U.S. to recognize and report signs of human trafficking. Beer distributors are uniquely positioned to help fight this heinous crime given their level of access to locations often unseen by the public as they visit around 600,000 licensed retail locations across the country. Visit the Human Trafficking Awareness Resource Center for more information and resources.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) represents America’s 3,000 independent beer distributors who service every state, congressional district and media market across the country. Licensed at the federal and state levels, beer distributors get bottles, cans, cases and kegs from a brewer or importer to stores, restaurants and other licensed retail accounts through a transparent and accountable regulatory system. Distributors build brands of all sizes – from familiar domestic beers to new startup labels and imports from around the world – and generate enormous consumer choice while supporting more than 140,000 quality jobs in their home communities. Beer distributors work locally to keep communities safe by sponsoring programs to promote responsible consumption, combat drunk driving and reduce underage drinking.