Press Release

NBWA has trained 29,000 beer distribution employees in all fifty states to identify and report the signs of human trafficking in the initiative’s second year

NBWA reflects on milestones of its Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative on program’s second anniversary

Media contact: Erin Donar | | 703-229-3702

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Today, on the second anniversary of its Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative, the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) reflected on the program’s important milestones. In its second year, NBWA hit a landmark goal of training distributors in all 50 states. To date, nearly 29,000 beer distributors have been trained to spot the signs of human trafficking. The initiative was created to mobilize NBWA’s more than 140,000 beer distribution employees across the country in the fight against human trafficking by providing local distributors with the necessary tools and resources to recognize and report the signs of this heinous crime.

“NBWA started the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative in 2020, and it has far surpassed our initial goals for engagement. We are incredibly proud of the initiative’s growth,” said NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser. “The Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative has become a model for other associations to tackle pressing issues successfully. In its second year, the initiative has received positive industry recognition and even a prestigious award. The initiative’s continued success would not have been possible without the investment and dedication of distributors in every state across the country.”

Human trafficking continues to plague communities across the United States. In 2019 alone, the Polaris Project identified 22,326 victims and survivors of human trafficking, up 20 percent from the prior year. Additionally, human trafficking disproportionately targets vulnerable populations like women and children. Over half of the active criminal human trafficking cases in the U.S. involved children.

Noting these glaring statistics and the presence of beer distributors in 640,000 retail establishments across the country, NBWA identified the need to join the fight and founded the Distributors Against Human Trafficking initiative in July of 2020. NBWA launched the campaign to provide resources and training for beer distribution employees across the country to help educate them on the signs of human trafficking.

To date, NBWA has:

  • Successfully trained nearly 29,000 beer distributors from 230 companies across all 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • Collaborated with a bipartisan group of state attorneys general across the country to spread awareness about human trafficking and the initiative itself.
  • Spoken on several industry panels about the program. This month, NBWA President and CEO Craig Purser participated in the, “No Room for Trafficking Summit” featuring leaders from the anti-trafficking community, as well as hospitality industry discussing ways to collaborate.
  • Partnered with independent organizations and member companies to strengthen the initiative. Street Grace, a community-based organization committed to fighting the sexual exploitation of minors, helped produce the awareness training video and has remained a steadfast partner in the growth and success of the campaign.
  • Supported distributors in building partnerships with local law enforcement and human rights organizations to strengthen the initiative.

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.