News from both Canada and the USA that may affect the BC wine industry eventually ...

Agents Upset Over SAQ as Potential Competitor. The Edmonton Journal has an interesting article describing the efforts of the Quebec liquor board (SAQ) to set up shop in Alberta as a competitor to existing agents. Predictably, the agents that are now operating in that province are not happy over plans for a provincial alcohol monopoly to venture outside its borders and to compete with private businesses in other provinces. More profoundly, this raises questions as to the proper scope of a liquor monopoly's operations and, particularly, whether it is right for a liquor monopoly from a non-privatized province to wield its monopoly purchasing power in another province which has privatized.

HR5034 - Wholesalers Get Rough Ride at Congressional Hearings. The wholesaler and distributor industry groups which are attempting to roll back progress on direct to consumer shipping in the U.S. by virtue of congressional bill HR5034 got a rough ride at recent hearings in Washington, DC. This story from Wine Business describes the presentations. In related news, a consumer group has now also formed in order to advance the interests of wine consumers at the state and federal levels: American Wine Consumer Coalition.

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