Four years ago, we set off with an ambition to use beer as a means to empower the lives of one million people by funding clean drinking water projects, believing it to be the best way to transform thousands of communities for generations.
At the heart of this ambition was a passion for beer and growing a business, but fundamentally a desire to contribute toward a world in which everyone, regardless of circumstance, would have access to this basic resource and an opportunity to build a better life for themselves and those close to them.
Of the most disadvantaged communities on earth that we have identified to support, the majority are based in Malawi, in Africa and are, by virtue of this, Black communities. They live significantly below the poverty line as generational victims of economic injustices and uneven material development. Brewgooder will always work hard to represent their interests and help them to empower themselves, as we will do with other communities in other countries where we have clean water impact in the future. This commitment will not change, but how we communicate this will and you will see this below.
The recent protests around the world and the wider Black Lives Matter movement, has forced us to recognise that as a brand and an employer with UK presence and voice, that our single-mindedness in pursuing our mission to empower communities and lives elsewhere has been at the neglect of our basic human duty to combat the racial injustices that exist right here on our doorstep. Collectively as a team and company we have decided that this negligence ends, today.
As a company - we believe that verbal and financial support toward this movement is a positive start, but we wanted to ensure that our contributions can be deep, lasting and change-making. The actions below are part of a 'Work In Progress' programme that we are taking as a team and a brand at every level, and they are ones we hope that other brewers and like-minded companies can adopt and adapt at whatever scale they choose… but first we must do them ourselves.
- Internships: We will create an internship programme for Black and Minority Ethnic people to gain an insight and working experience within the craft beer industry paid at Real Living Wage.
- Recruitment: We will develop job ads and construct interview processes which are inclusive, and guarantee Black and Minority Ethnic applicants an interview, to attempt to overcome implicit bias.
- Continuous Development: Dedicate 1 day per year for anti-racist learning and development for our team, held annually on May 25.
- Mentorship: Devoting 100 hours per executive team member annually to purpose driven entrepreneurs from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, to share our learnings from founding, building and leading purpose driven companies.
- Board Representation: To actively seek to recruit business leaders from Black and Minority Ethnic communities to help lead the future direction of our business.
- Supporting creatives: To work with more Black and Minority Ethnic creatives on consumer facing campaigns and brand world creation.
- Social Media and Advertising: To increase the visibility of Black and Minority Ethnic drinkers in all our social media photography, to help create a more inclusive, and diverse image of craft beer drinkers and normalise diversity in our industry.
- Impact communication: To exclusively promote narratives of positive empowerment of our impact communities and refuse to publish or endorse our own images, or images of our partners which perpetuate myths of dependency and helplessness in African communities.
- Eliminate Appropriation: To eliminate from our brand world images of appropriation of other cultures and instead to promote accessibility in our design and packaging which celebrates our impact in African communities without commodifying those communities in the process.
- Brewing Partners: When brewing with partners in the industry we will insist they share our pledges or actively commit to the demonstrating a high level of commitment to their own anti-racist policies.
- Collaboration: To actively work on at least one collaboration project with a Black and Minority Ethnic owned and lead brewery locally or globally each year.
- Supporting Grass Roots Anti-Racist Campaigns: To brew a small batch beer with and in aid of a Scottish anti-racism charity.
- Brewing Scholarship: The creation of a scholarship fund for Black and Minority Ethnic people to access the HW Brewing and Distilling Undergraduate Course.
- Accountability: To report on our progress against our policies annually.
These actions are not a solution nor even a comprehensive list of everything we can do. Some of these points may be expanded, and in the course of time some points may be added. They are above all a statement of intent, it is our way of going on a journey to becoming better allies for Black and Minority Ethnic communities.
We invite you to go on this journey with us too, and to hold us to account. We urge you to educate yourself, to learn more about the issues and be an ally and the below signposts you to causes and campaigns that are a good place to start.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Me and White Supremacy
Layla F Saad
How to be an Anti-Racist
Ibram X. Kendi
So You Want to Talk About Race
The New Jim Crow
Notes of a Native Son
Black and British: A Forgotten History
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire