MALUTI Mountain Brewery (MMB) has embarked on a countrywide programme to equip small liquor traders with skills to operate profitable businesses that also promote responsible alcohol usage, the brewery’s Corporate Affairs Director Nthati Moorosi, has said.
Ms Moorosi made the remarks during the launch of the initiative, called the Retailer Development Programme in Maseru on Monday. The workshop, which was attended by 40 liquor traders, imparted knowledge on how to manage the traders’ businesses in a profitable and socially responsible manner.
She further revealed that the workshop had also been held concurrently in Botswana and Swaziland as an incentive to traders who were complying with liquor laws so that they can expand their businesses.
MMB is an affiliate company of the South African Brewery Miller (SAB) the world’s second largest beer brewer by volume. MMB brews beer brands owned by SABMiller under license, and is a franchised bottler of the Coca-Cola Company. It also has distributor agreements with various alcohol companies to distribute wines, spirits and alcoholic fruit beverages, through its subsidiary Lesotho Liquor Distributors, to retail trade outlets in Lesotho.
“We have given licensed liquor traders, who are supplied by MMB, an opportunity to learn about growing sustainable, reputable and profit-making businesses since many of them usually operate without proper plans in place,” said Ms Moorosi.
“After they finish the workshop they will then know more about setting a budget and advertising for instance, which help their businesses to grow.
“They will also learn not to mix personal and business funds since it creates problems for their viability.”
She added that MMB would host similar workshops in all the 10 districts of the country in the coming months with experts being brought in to mentor the traders and teach them such issues as responsible business practices.
“We are also promoting responsible drinking mentorships which alert traders to the dangers of selling alcohol to people under the age of 18, pregnant women and those who would already be intoxicated to ensure the trader is not only able to save lives but also protect the reputation of their business,” Ms Moorosi said.
The workshop, she said, also highlights the negative consequences of alcohol abuse such as addiction and death caused by drinking and driving.
Ms Moorosi also advised traders to adhere to trading laws, adding that MMB rewarded traders whose businesses were profiled by the brewery thereby earning access to funding.
MMB Sales and Distribution Director Malengolo Seotsanayana also said MMB aimed to train all the small traders operating at their premises in the next five years.
“In the next five years, we hope to have trained all small-scale traders including the 2 000 we currently have in our database as well as emerging new ones.”