In a statement released this week, the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. praised the appointment of Danny Wirtz as WSWA Chairman. The statement, from DISCUS and Responsibility.Org President Chris R. Swonger, reads in full:
“Congratulations to Danny Wirtz, Vice Chairman, Breakthru Beverage, on his appointment as Chairman of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA). These are extraordinary times for our country and our industry, but he is the right partner to lead WSWA as we face and overcome these challenges.
As outlined in Danny’s inaugural remarks, he has a consumer-focused vision, with a commitment to work in close collaboration with suppliers and retailers to navigate these uncertain times. He clearly recognizes that many of the marketplace changes that consumers have welcomed in response to COVID-19 bring a new horizon for our industry going forward. DISCUS fully supports the important role that the three-tier system has played for over 90 years. It provides an unparalleled logistics system in fulfilling consumer demand for our diverse products in a timely manner. It has been an important component of our industry’s success.
We could not agree more when Danny says this crisis has reset consumer expectations, and that it will open new opportunities to collaborate in addressing modern consumer demands. Restaurants and bars and their employees have been devastated by COVID-19 and collectively, we will have to come together in support of our retail partners.
As Danny referenced, we have seen new channels emerge with delivery, pick up and cocktails-to-go. These opportunities will help the industry adapt to the new marketplace and drive consumer convenience. It will be critical for us to work together to support our restaurants and taverns, while also delivering on what consumers desire. Our industry will be stronger if we work on these issues together to drive smart regulations with balanced and responsible alcohol distribution systems. DISCUS is fully invested in working with Danny, Michelle Korsmo, WSWA President & CEO, and our retail partners as we confront the new marketplace realities.
We share his vision of a united industry working together to overcome the current crisis and develop the future marketplace for our consumers in which our brands and companies can succeed and grow. This new marketplace can thrive if it’s consumer led with a modern alcohol distribution system. We applaud Danny when he says, ‘We are all advocates for consumer choice and free trade; and it’s essential that we remain steadfast in our efforts to oppose the tariffs placed on our industry’.
Just as we worked closely with his father, Rocky Wirtz, over a decade ago when he led WSWA, we look forward to working with Danny and WSWA on these important policies and smart regulations, while leading with high social responsibility standards.”