Considering the unfortunate focus that South African taverns have drawn in recent tragedies, South African Breweries Responsible Trading Programme aims to elevate the purpose and passion of over 32,000 taverns as agents of positive societal growth.
As the country’s largest brewer, the South African Breweries (SAB) recognizes Global Beer Responsible Drinking Week on the first week of August 2022. In honour of this, SAB shines a spotlight on its Responsible Trading Programme.
Through the Responsible Trading Programme (RTP), SAB has been able to reward liquor traders for actively driving and promoting responsibility in a setting where harmful consumption of alcohol happens most… our country’s taverns.
According to SAB’s VP of Corporate Affairs, Zoleka Lisa, the RTP not only aims to transform taverns into safe places to enjoy responsibly, but also into champions of responsibility.
“Our taverns are more important to our communities and our economy than most people realise,” says Lisa. “We have always believed our taverns can be a force for good not only in our economy, but in our communities. It all starts with instilling responsibility at their core.”
Lucky Ntimane, convenor at the National Liquor Traders (NLT) believes programmes like the RTP provide a platform to change communities from within. “Taverns are the backbone of our communities and the township economy. It is critical that we empower these pillars of our communities and recognise that they have the power to create positive change in our society.”
SAB recognised this fact way back in 2020, when the RTP pilot programme was born. As a first of its kind, what the RTP did was actively position the liquor trader as a champion in the fight against harmful consumption. “We showed them, with a few incentives here and there, that trading responsibility was not only good for business, but was part of our duty to our communities and our country,” says Lisa.
Fast forward to today and SAB’s RTP has accredited over 32,000 liquor traders across the country. In its current form, the RTP enables traders through four activities, including:
- Communication of the programme to retailers
- Educating retailers on how to be a compliant outlet
- Auditing and accrediting retailers against RTP principles
- Rewarding complaint retailers
Through the accreditation process, traders are assessed on a three-tier system in which they can achieve a ranking of silver, gold, or platinum. This is separated by the following distinctions:
- Silver – They comply to liquor regulations
- Gold – They comply to the refusal of sale of alcohol to underage persons and intoxicated persons
· Platinum – They are true champions of safety and community involvement
“As the leading beer manufacturer in South Africa and in recognition of AB-Inbev’s Global Responsible Drinking Week, we would like to encourage our champion responsibility in trade and consumption,” says Lisa. “Through the SAB Sharp platform, of which the RTP is a part of, we are making a deeper investment in evidence-based initiatives that measurably shift social norms and behaviours to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol.”