Wine And Spirits Wholesalers Of America

Wine And Spirits Wholesalers Of America

America’s wine and spirits industry is booming, but it hasn’t always had it so easy. Manufacturers and suppliers often come up against an abundance of issues, and anyone in the industry will tell you – your business needs someone to fight your corner. Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is one such organization that fights to protect not just businesses, but consumers, too. Keep reading to learn more about WSWA, the causes they support, membership, and more.

Who Are Wine And Spirits Wholesalers Of America?

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), are a national organization that advocates for federal, regulatory, and legal issues that may impact manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic beverages in the United States.

Unlike guilds that represent individual states, WSWA represents wine and spirits wholesalers throughout the whole country.

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is currently based in Washington, D.C., and it was established in 1943.

WSWA is the only national organization to advocate for wine and spirit wholesalers in America, and they focus on many important policy areas to improve regulations, assist with taxation, and help local and family-owned businesses thrive. WSWA also provides programs to help promote careers in the industry.

WSWA has 370 member companies, and 80% of the wine and spirits sold wholesale in the US are by WSWA members.

What Issues Does WSWA Monitor And Assess?

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is responsible for monitoring, assessing, and weighing in on a number of issues that affect the industry and its members. These issues are at the federal and state level, and it also examines a number of legal and regulatory issues.

Here’s a full list of the issues monitored and assessed by WSWA:

Federal Issues

  • Pass through entity taxation
  • Tariffs on imported spirits and wines
  • Postal reform
  • TTB funding
  • Cannabis reform
  • Impaired driving
  • LIFO preservation

State Issues

  • Alcohol access to minors
  • Consumer safety
  • The prevention of false products
  • Market access
  • Prevention of monopolies
  • Tax collection
  • Keeping up with changing marketplaces
  • Safe consumption of, and access to, alcohol
  • Ignition interlocks in vehicles

Legal And Regulatory Issues

  • The legalization of cannabis
  • Tobacco and alcohol tax

What Are The Aims Of The WSWA?

Who Are Wine And Spirits Wholesalers Of America

WSWA aims to support the safe manufacturing and production of alcoholic beverages while protecting public health. As seen from the above list, the issues they monitor and assess are varied, but here are some of the main aims of WSWA:

  • Supporting full funding of Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), so that it can continue to make the marketplace fair
  • Supporting state legislation that would mandate the use of interlocks in vehicles of any person convicted of repeated DUI offenses or first-time offenders who had a blood alcohol content of over .15
  • Preventing the access of alcohol to teens by working with various organizations
  • Ensuring that tax rates for all businesses, including S Corps, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships are taken into account before changes are made to the pass-through rate
  • Ensuring that individual state laws around the shipping of beer, spirits, and wine are respected if Congress is successful with making USPS solvent.

What Else Does The WSWA Do?

As well as supporting local and national businesses, the WSWA has an educational foundation that offers two types of scholarships for the children of its members.

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America offers the WSWA Educational Foundation Scholarship Program to children of wholesaler members, and the Robert Qualls Scholarship to various retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers who meet the WSWA requirements.

The WSWA Educational Foundation College Scholarship Program

This program offers around 50 scholarships per year of $2,000 to the college dependents of WSWA wholesaler member employees.

Robert Qualls Scholarship Fund

This fund was created in memory of Robert Qualls, a celebrated veteran in the spirits and hospitality industry.

Each year, the scholarship will award approximately four scholarships, worth $5,000 each, to students interested in studying in the hospitality industry.

What Are The Member Programs In WSWA?

What Are The Member Programs In WSWA

If you want to get involved with the WSWA, you’ll find plenty of member program opportunities to choose from, including:

Women’s Leadership Council (WLC)

The Women’s Leadership Council, headed by the WSWA, is led by leaders in the US alcohol industry, and it works with a three-tier system to help members build relationships, and exchange knowledge and ideas.

You can apply for a membership to the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) via the WSWA website.

WSWA Council For Leadership Development

The WSWA Council for Leadership Development (CLD) is a sub-branch of the WSWA that exists to help educate leaders in the wholesaler member companies.

The committee plans an annual conference to help improve leadership, technology and management skills in the industry, help make connections with suppliers and services, and more.

State Association And Advisory Council

WSWA works with 32 state organizations and groups that participate in the advisory council.

Organizations include Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Connecticut, Beer Industry League of Louisiana, Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, and more.

The Benefits Of A Wine And Spirits Wholesalers Of America Membership

Whether your business is in one state or all over the country, wholesalers can reap big benefits from becoming members of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.

Some notable benefits of a membership include:

  • Access to scholarships for your children
  • Build relationships with other wholesalers and attend in-person and virtual events
  • Access to the distribution playbook, which gives you an insight into different perspectives from different industry experts, that share tips and tricks to help wholesalers on and off the premises
  • Access to a cybersecurity resource center, purchasing discounts, a State Law Database and Sipsource, to help you run your business

How To Become A Member Of Wine And Spirits Wholesalers Of America

You can apply for a wholesaler membership to WSWA via the website. The Wholesaler Membership is a voting membership that you can apply for if you:

  • Are engaged in the wine and spirits industry and buying from primary sources of supply, such as distillers, prime importers, and more

Final Thoughts

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America is the only national organization to work with wholesalers across the state and advocate for issues that may impact their businesses.

This organization also has some excellent benefits for its members, and those in the industry should strongly consider a membership to support the industry.

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