ANTIOCH, Calif. – As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January, Markstein Sales Company (Markstein), a woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor in Northern California, today appealed to business leaders around the country to join in its fight against slavery and human trafficking. As a long-time supporter and sponsor of the New Day for Children organization that provides funding to help American children who have been recovered from sex trafficking, Markstein has also now joined a nationwide campaign with theNational Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) where beer distributors, who collectively visit more than 600,000 retail establishments across the country, can play a vital role in identifying and reporting suspicious activity often unseen by the typical public.
Human trafficking is a growing problem in the U.S., with more than11,500 human trafficking cases reported in 2019 alone. California has consistently had the highest human trafficking rates in the United States with 1,507 cases reported in 2019. To help combat this, Markstein is installing signage on all of its 75 vehicles that are typically on the roads of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties 14 hours per day, six days per week. The goal of these signs is to raise awareness locally and to provide easy access to hotline information for people that suspect or know of human trafficking cases. Markstein is also providing personalized training, leveraged from both NBWA and New Day for Children, for all truck drivers and merchandisers so they know what to look out for on their daily routes and in the businesses they serve.
“While our work to end human trafficking began at the local level, this is a national problem that needs all business leaders to stand up and make a difference. I am calling on all companies to get involved locally with groups like New Day for Children and nationally with efforts like those sponsored by the NBWA,” said Laura Markstein, President of Markstein Sales Company. “Whether that involves a sign in a highly visible location or extra eyes and ears for identifying and reporting suspicious behavior, there are many companies such as beer distributors that are in a very public and unique position where they can make a significant difference to fight this cause.”
Call to Action
If you are a beer distributor, join the campaign being spearheaded by the NBWA to build awareness and provide training to educate employees on recognizing and reporting the warning signs of human trafficking. If you are any other type of company that has vehicles, products or buildings that are constantly in the public eye, leverage your visibility to do your own campaign and encourage others in your industry to follow suit.Support and sponsor New Day for Children. This nationally recognized charity provides support and assistance to American girls, ages 10-18, who have been recovered from the despair of sex trafficking. Your financial support can provide safe housing, school, medical, mental health care, equine therapy, and much more. Take off the blinders. If you think this is not happening in your community, you are wrong. Every state, county, city, and town needs to help combat this nationwide crisis. ThisMarkstein video outlines the problem and the ways companies and individuals can make a difference.
Sharon Wood, Executive Director of New Day for Children:”Rapidly escalating profits, the internet, limited police resources, and unaware communities have created a perfect storm for the child sex trafficking industry here in the United States. It is the second fastest growing criminal industry in our country, and one that employs sophisticated business practices and is highly lucrative. Today, the U.S. Justice Department estimates that 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked for sex in the United States. Through partnership with businesses, such as Markstein Sales Company, we can provide the funds and resources needed to transition many of these children to safe housing and therapeutic care, and help prevent it from happening to another one of our children.”
Lauren Kane, Vice President of Communications, National Beer Wholesalers Association: “Beer distributors have behind-the-scenes access to the prime locations where traffickers could be exploiting victims – from bars, restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, to package stores, sports arenas and grocery stores. We commend the work Markstein Sales Company has already been doing locally with programs like New Day for Children. Combining this with their commitment to the NBWADistributors Against Human Trafficking campaign, means they have the opportunity to significantly impact the fight against human trafficking. Beer distributors in other states have seen a 175% increase in calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline after they started educating their employees and putting signage on their trucks. We are confident Markstein’s efforts will bring similar life-changing results to California.
Dustin Miller, Commercial Driver, Markstein Sales Company: “I am proud to work for a company that provides the tools and training to turn an average workday into an opportunity to help in a big way. As I go about my daily routes, I feel more empowered than ever before to play a part in preventing and stopping these horrible crimes against both children and adults.”
About Markstein Sales Company
Markstein Sales Company is a fourth-generation, woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor based in Antioch, Calif. Founded in 1919 with just a horse, a wagon and six cases of beer, Markstein is now in its 101st year and distributing over four million cases annually to 1500 retailers in the Bay Area. The company’s portfolio is composed of multiple world-class beers including the Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands family of beers, several high-quality craft beers and many others. Markstein is known for outstanding customer service, dedication to their employees and commitment to the community. The company continues to rank as best in class by retailers and is one of the top ten largest Woman Owned Businesses in the Bay Area. More information can be found at https://www.marksteinsalescompany.com.