Drinks giant Diageo has signed a broker contract with Wirtz Beverage, under which it will serve as exclusive broker for Diageo’s beer, wine, spirits and ready-to-drinks (RTD) brands in Canada.

The move is part of Diageo’s plans to improve customer service.

Wirtz Beverage is a family-owned and operated division of Wirtz and has been in the wholesale beverage business in the US for around 70 years.

Effective from 1 July 2014, the agreement will form a new brokerage entity, Wirtz Beverage Canada, whose sales team will look after Diageo’s brands in Canada.

The sales team will also include sales staff from Diageo and the new enterprise will be headed by Wirtz Beverage executive vice president Julian Burzynski.

Diageo North America president Larry Schwartz said the arrangement with Wirtz Beverage provides them with the best of both worlds – a broker that understands their business and a dedicated Canadian sales force that knows their brands and the Canada market.

"As a business, we must continually adapt to the market, which is why improving our route to consumer has been a priority for our company. We have seen the benefits of this model in other parts of the world and can see how it will make Canada a more agile and efficient business allowing us to further invest in Diageo and our brands," Schwartz added.

Wirtz Beverage Group president Rocky Wirtz said they will leverage their commercial sales expertise with training and development programmes, market analytics and technology tools to support the Diageo brands across Canada.