Wine Industry Welcomes Consultations to Facilitate the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages – Interprovincial Winery-to-Consumer Delivery is a Priority

OTTAWA – December 10, 2018 – The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) welcomed the announcement at the First Ministers’ Meeting, that consultations will be undertaken with industry and consumers to develop ways to facilitate the sale of alcoholic beverages. Considering amendments to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) to remove the federal requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another be sold or consigned to a provincial liquor authority is a good first step.

Industry remains cautiously optimistic regarding amendments IILA and hopes that the consultation process can be done in an acceptable time frame.

The CVA looks forward to participating in the consultations and will continue to advocate to ensure wineries can take advantage of 21st century retail by implementing a direct winery- to- consumer delivery system. Canadian consumers across Canada should be able to access their favourite Canadian wines from any winery located anywhere in Canada. Every other wine producing country in the world offers this, including 45 U.S. states.

“Canada’s wine industry is growing in BC, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, with up-and-coming wine regions in New Brunswick and PEI,” said Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO of the CVA. “Our wineries attract 4 million tourists every year, having access to these loyal consumers in provinces and territories where our wines are not available is critical to growing our businesses and our agricultural base.” added Paszkowski.

“We’re approaching 2019, and even with today’s announcement, Canadians are bound by archaic prohibition era laws dating back to 1928, which outlaw their ability to join an out-of-province wine club, order wine online or by telephone and have their wine purchases delivered by courier to their out-of- province residence.” said Paszkowski.

Interprovincial winery-to-consumer delivery is something nine out of 10 Canadians believe should be permitted, and every winery across Canada eagerly awaits the proposed consultations and efforts by provinces to make this choice fully available to their citizens.

British Columbia and Nova Scotia removed their interprovincial barriers for direct-to-consumer shipping of 100% Canadian wines in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Direct access to these provinces has served to better educate consumers, and led to greater wines sales and provincial revenues.

“Over the past decade, imported wines have captured 75% of wines sales volume growth in Canada. International trade agreements are important, but we must first lead by example and remove barriers to wine trade at home,” said Paszkowski.

Direct winery-to-consumer delivery will lead to important growth for Canada’s highest value agricultural industry. Industry research shows that for every $1.00 spent on Canadian wine $3.42 in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated across the country.

“We will continue to work with all levels of government on behalf of Canadian consumers to ensure a legal direct winery-to-consumer system is implemented in every province and territory.” said Paszkowski.