The Craft Maltsters Guild took action on its DEI objectives in 2021, partnering with Crafted For All to develop a mission statement and plan to support more diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the craft malt industry at large.
Once an organization has pledged to Crafted For All or declared DEI as an objective in general, a foundational first step is to develop a mission statement to structure and promote further development. According to The Denver Foundation’s Inclusiveness Project, statements about inclusiveness help to create an internal understanding of the desired shift within organizational culture.
Dr. J Jackson-Beckham of Crafted For All coached Guild leadership in crafting our inclusivity statement, which began with the organization’s original mission statement. If your farm, malthouse, brewery, or distillery doesn’t already have a mission statement, we recommend examining and enunciating the purpose of your business on paper as a start to your DEI work.
“You don’t necessarily have to have a relationship with an expert practitioner in this space to make some strides and to make some headway,” says Dr. J, who emphasizes beginning this work by defining company values and ultimately a mission statement. Getting that started with intention and an openness to learn is more important than “getting it right the first time.” Both she and Jesse Bussard, the Executive Director of the Craft Maltsters Guild, encourage the Guild’s membership to engage in this process.
Before she was the ED, Bussard co-owned and branded Fementana and the Bozeman Craft Beer Week, and helped Montana’s Gallatin Valley Malt to craft their own mission statement back in the day.
“We started with the original mission statement in our bylaws, and Dr. J picked out keywords she thought would be important for us to focus on through a DEI lens,” says Bussard. “These focus points – the tradition of craft malting, our members, and quality and safety — then came with questions for us to explore.”
- When we think about the tradition of craft malting, who is part of that tradition? Who isn’t?
- When we think about our membership, who is part of that community?
- Who isn’t represented in our membership?
- Who do we want our members to be?
- What do quality and safety mean to us in the relation to our membership?
“Through answering these questions we were then able to develop a list of the beliefs and values we take to be true for our organization and define our vision and goals for our DEI work,” says Bussard.
The process was one of refinement and an exercise in careful diction selection. With Dr. J’s leadership, Bussard and the Guild’s DEI Task Force landed on an inclusivity mission statement that is a commitment to action, which you can read in full here.
The start of this action was a scholarship program the Guild launched at the 2022 Craft Malt Conference, which allowed three recipients to attend the conference and become Guild members, granting them access to our educational resources to support their roles in the craft malt and beer industries. You can read more about them in the coming weeks on our blog.
“Scholarships are a good first step,” Bussard says. “Next, we plan to begin work to provide more resources and education on these topics to our membership.”