As Namibians navigate the country’s gradual reopening following an easing of trade restrictions which were necessitated to combat the spread of COVID-19, life is slowly returning back to normal, or at least, a ‘new normal’. Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), Managing Director, Marco Wenk: “There’s no doubt that COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on society long after the current State of Emergency and the risks associated with COVID-19 are over.”
While some industries had already reopened and commenced trade shortly after the lockdown period others remained closed pending the easing of restrictions. Consumers of non-essential and premium categories which remained closed and have now been given the approval to trade as from 2 June 2020, have been starved of such products and as such demand for same will be significant as from next week, which is likely to put more pressure on retailers and the general trade to ensure adherence to i.e. social distancing.
Wenk: “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and transformed the world. Like other global beverage alcohol markets and companies, NBL – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group – has been subject to massive volatility since the end of March 2020. While our bottom-line performance has undeniably been significantly impacted, we are also clear that we had to take collective responsibility to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers, consumers, stakeholders, communities and country at large. COVID-19 has forced us to re-think and execute in a completely new and different way.”
In line with the O&L Group Purpose “Creating a future, enhancing life” and its Vision to be “a catalyst for positive change, creating new realities and fulfilling dreams”, NBL has embraced the ‘new world’ through its newly launched #TakesANation campaign that is aimed at encouraging responsible behavior when consuming alcoholic beverages of any kind. “The #TakesANation campaign is a call-to-action to Shop Responsibly; Drink Responsibly; Socialize Responsibly; Entertain Responsibly, and Enjoy Responsibly”, said Wenk.
The NBL Managing Director reiterated that it has taken the concerns of the Namibian Government around the social impact of alcohol to heart and will through collaborative efforts with both government and the entire alcohol industry, focus on finding workable solutions to ensure a sustainable industry going forward. Wenk: “While we will do our utmost to make our world-class beverages available to all our loyal consumers, we are clear that we also have a collective responsibility to ensure we act responsibly in the interests of our industry. It is thus vital that customers and consumers play their part in adhering to, and continue practicing the required safety measures and adherence to Government directives and regulations.”
It has been said many times that the most amazing thing about Namibia is her people: genuine, hospitable, warm, and caring to both country-folk and visitors. “As government eases restrictions and restarts the economy let us hold ourselves and each other accountable for our behavior. Let’s band together and support government’s efforts because it #TakesANation to completely overcome a national crisis of this magnitude”, Wenk concluded.