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03 June 2020 | Business

Marco Wenk, managing director of NBL; “We will do our utmost best to make our world class beverages available to all our loyal consumers.”

Phillepus Uusiku

Life is slowing returning to normal as Namibians navigate the country’s gradual reopening following an easing of trade restrictions which were necessitated to combat the spread of Covid-19.

There is 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, says Marco Wenk, the managing director of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group.

Wenk says the Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the world. Like other companies, NBL has been subject to massive volatility since the end of March 2020.

“Covid-19 has forced us to re-think and execute in a complete new and different way,” Wenk says.

“While our bottom-line performance has undeniably been significantly impacted, we are also clear that we had to take a collective responsibility to support the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees, consumers, customers, stakeholders, communities and country at large.”

While some industries had already resumed trading shortly after the lockdown period, others remained closed pending the easing of restrictions.

Consumers of non-essential and premium products such as alcoholic beverages have been starved of such products and high demand is expected after yesterday’s resumption of trade.

This is likely to put more pressure on retailers to ensure adherence to safety measures such as social distancing.

Social impact

The NBL managing director says the company has taken the Namibian government’s concerns about the social impact of alcohol to heart and will focus on finding workable solutions to ensure a sustainable industry.

“While we will do our utmost best 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 interest of our industry,” he says.

It is vital that customers play their part in complying with the required safety measures and government regulations, Wenk adds.

“Namibia is known to be a warm and caring country for both locals and visitors. Therefore, as government eases restrictions and restarts the economy, let us hold ourselves accountable for our behaviour and support government to overcome a national crisis of this magnitude,” Wenk said.

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