WORKING FOR YOU
Through collaborative advocacy, the BCWI represents our members’ interests to government. We work with other industry stakeholders to establish direction on regulatory policy and other issues. We give government and specific ministries the information they need to formulate regulatory policies that create a healthy business climate for our members.
Our advocacy work is led by our President & CEO, Miles Prodan.
Recent meetings, presentations, correspondence, conferences, forums, etc., with government and industry stakeholder partners (see photos in Gallery - left side menu):
- BCWI Joins Vintners Day on Parliament Hill: BCWI joined the CVA’s annual Vintners Day on the Hill which took place last week including a dinner for Members of Parliament with wineries in their ridings. MPs in attendance included Wine Caucus Co-Chairs Dan Albas (BC) and Vance Badawey (ON). CVA board members (see link: https://goo.gl/gWxHZY) met with 24 MPs, political staff and senior government officials to discuss the Wine Industry Innovation Program proposal, concerns over international trade issues and the need to eliminate Budget 2017’s excise duty indexation.
- The BCWI and Board members hosted a breakfast in Victoria to brief BC Liberal Caucus MLAs and senior government officials on the success of the BC Wine Industry. Key points included acknowledgement of the long overdue and positive changes for the BC Wine Industry resulting from Parliamentary Secretary John Yap’s Liquor Review & Recommendations – resulting in BC VQA Wine having its largest provincial market share since inception more than 25 years ago. The BCWI also thanked Government for their continued support and for taking positive steps to reduce red tape and modernize liquor laws in BC (see link: https://goo.gl/WqLk8d).
- BCWI presented an overview of its Wine & Culinary Tourism Strategy at the annual BC Tourism Industry Conference providing a forum for tourism businesses and stakeholders from around British Columbia to come together to learn from experts and each other about key issues, challenges and best practices.
- Spoke at the Provincial Government announcement at Summerhill Pyramid Winery on December 8, that BC's Wines of Marked Quality Regulation has been updated to enable wineries to state sub-geographic indications on their wine bottles. The changes were included in the BCWI-initiated BC Wine Appellation Task Group’s industry-approved recommendations (see link https://goo.gl/0Wxqvs). Pictured right: (L-R) Erik von Krosigk, Winemaker & Viticulturist at Summerhill Pyramid Winery; Hon. Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture; Miles Prodan, CEO & President BCWI; MLA Linda Larson (Boundary-Similkameen); and Hon. Steve Thomson (Kelowna-Mission). CBC media coverage: https://goo.gl/QHnV7k.
- BCWI partnered with the Drinks Business Hong Kong to hold an advanced educational Wines of British Columbia Masterclass, showcasing top quality BC VQA Wine at the China Club in Hong Kong (see link: https://goo.gl/TTuuxL).
- Met with the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo to discuss opportunities to showcase BC VQA Wine in the Japanese market. While in Tokyo, met with Jamie Paquin at his store where he sells only Canadian wines (see link: https://goo.gl/XU5A9z).
- Met up with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Ministerial Mission in Shanghai, China and joined Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Canadian Agri-Food producers at the Food and Hospitality China (FHC) - the largest food show in China featuring international-only products.
- Participated in the inaugural Alliance of Beverage Licensees (ABLE BC) and Desjardins BC Liquor Conference.
- Formal appearance at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of its pre-budget consultations. BCWI input included support for the CVA’s Wine Industry Innovation Program (WIIP) initiative to provide BC wineries investment tax credits and/or grants designed to support initiatives to develop the Canadian wine industry through improved operational and infrastructure investments. It was also an opportunity to reinforce the need for continued federal government support in the removal of interprovincial trade barriers restricting 100% BC wine being shipped directly to consumers across Canada (see link: https://goo.gl/7EKacV).
- Submission to the BC Legislative Assembly's Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services
Pre-Budget 2017 Con sultation. Recommended 100% BC wineries engaged in agri-tourism be provided measurabl e tax relief that offsets the light industrial assessment applied to buildings on agricultural properties when the activity is related to certified 100% BC alcohol production (see link: http://goo.gl/l5VeZu).
- Presented at the BC Shellfish Growers Association's Workshops and Annual General Meeting on October 14 in Courtenay. Met with Hon. Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture; Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director, BC Salmon Farmers Association; and Tim Rundle, General Manag er, Creative Salmon.
August/ September 2016
- BCWI Liquor Stores Task Group met with BC Liquor Stores management regarding increased opportunities for BC VQA Wines in the channel and confirmed their commitment to increase from the current 47 to 80 BC Liquor Stores featuring four new BC VQA Wines per month (see link: https://goo.gl/tbOIGS).
- Various BC LDB and wine industry meetings over the summer, including meetings between Ministers Oakes and Letnick and their senior staffs, and representatives from the Okanagan Estate Winery Association.
- City of Vancouver re: draft Vancouver Liquor Strategy recommendations (see link: https://goo.gl/dHkIQR).
- Hon. Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture regarding the BCWI's support for the BC Wine Industry Plebiscite results in follow up to Miles Prodan's letter to the Minister (read the July 18 2016 letter here: http://goo.gl/4930s4).
- Announcement of new Interprovincial Trade Agreement between BC, Ontario and Quebec. Read the press release here: https://goo.gl/XOhyzI.
- John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform and Bill Michael of BCLDB and Doug Scott of the BCLCLB attended the BCWI AGM and BC Wine Industry Symposium where they provided updates to BCWI staff and members.
- Emcee at 4th anniversary of Bill C-311 – Update from Dan Albas, MP Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola on Bill C-311
- BCLCLB Liquor Trade Practices & Tied House Rules Industry Round Table regarding challenges of prohibitions and restriction son the commercial interactions between liquor suppliers and licensed establishments.
- Together with representatives of mid‐sized wineries from the BC Estate Winery Association met with Coralee Oakes, Minister Responsible for Liquor, and Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture. Specific topics included clarification of the BC Liquor Store business rules for the BC VQA category (e.g. quotas, margins, etc.) in an effort to help remove uncertainty for the BC wine industry.
- Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC) - Discussed cooperation on issues of common interest, specifically, support for their submission to the proposed Minister’s Bylaw Standard Criteria (Bylaw Guide) for agri-tourism within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) - calling for a coherent framework for supporting agri-tourism activities in select circumstances (see link: http://goo.gl/XymH4L).
- Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) - The BCWI moderated a Wine, Craft Breweries and Distilleries panel discussion with industry leaders regarding the state of the industry in the region to the COEDC’s 43-member advisory (see link: http://goo.gl/G4BvM0). Discussion topics included the contribution of BC VQA certification to the BC Wine Industry as well as the importance of tourism to combined success of business in the region.
- Vintners Day on the Hill - The CVA’s annual Vintners Day on the Hill took place the second week of May. Beginning on May 9th, CVA hosted a dinner for many winery Members of Parliament (MPs), including Stephen Fuhr (BC); Dan Albas (BC); Richard Cannings (BC); Dean Allison (ON); Ruth Ellen Brosseau (QC); Rob Nicholson (ON); Francesco Sorbara (ON); Vance Badawey (ON) and Denis Paradis (QC). The next day, teams of CVA board members met with 20 MPs and political staff to discuss our industry, opportunities for growth, the need to eliminate inter-provincial barriers and the Vintners Investment Tax Credit proposal. Overall, CVA's lobby day activities effectively communicated our plan to grow the Canadian Wine Industry's economic impact from $7.8 billion to $19.7 billion over 10 years.
- Presentation to City of Vancouver Liquor Strategy: Spring 2016 Consultation regarding wine-in-grocery.
- Participation in UBCO/KEDGE Wine Leaders Forum session on international trade fairs, as well as consideration of further opportunities for the industry.
- MP Mel Arnold (North Okanagan—Shuswap)
- MP Richard Cannings (South Okanagan—West Kootenay)
- MP Cathy McLeod (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo)
- Hon. Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, Government of Canada – Click here to read BCWI's letter in support of CVA’s federal Vintners Investment Tax Credit (VITC) recommendations.
- Technical Barriers and Regulations Division of Global Affairs Canada
- MP Stephen Fuhr (Kelowna - Lake Country)
- BC Ministry of Health – Food Safety and Sanitation Plan. In accordance with federal CFIA exception, the BCWI is working through the Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction (Minister Coralee Oakes) to see that as alcohol prohibits foodborne-pathogens, BC wineries be exempt from Food Premises Regulation regulatory requirements, including a written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point-based (HACCP) food safety and sanitation plan. Further, because BC VQA Wine is registered with the BCWA, traceability, general health and safety lab tasting and export documentation requirements are already in place, monitored and auditable. The BCWI recommends to government that in order to meet minimum food safety requirements under BC regulations, BC wineries voluntarily complete the CVA National Safe Winemaking Program (see link: www.winesecure.ca). Click here to read the BCWI's Request for Exemption for BC Wineries to comply with new HACCP-based food safety Regulations.
BCWI Objective: BC Government will maintain current supported programs.
Maintain Direct Delivery Benefits – The BCWI is working to ensure BC wineries receive all revenue for wine delivered directly to licensees and private retailers.
BCWI Objective: Advocate for and obtain changes to benefit the BC wine industry as a whole.
BC LCLB Liquor Policy Changes – a number of long overdue and positive changes for the BC Wine Industry come into effect January 23, 2017. BCWI thanks members for their continued support in our work bringing about these policy changes and commends the LCLB and government for taking positive steps to reduce red tape and modernize liquor laws in BC (see link: https://goo.gl/WqLk8d).
Origin Labelling for Canadian Wines – The BCWI has requested the federal government and the Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) to implement an 18-month sunset period for removal of the CFIA interim statement for ‘Cellared in Canada’ wines (see link: http://goo.gl/QKBu6G). In response, BCWI received correspondence from the Federal Agriculture Minister that the matter has been referred to the CFIA as well from the CVA advising it had begun the process of organizing two facilitated sessions – Eastern and Western Canada – with a goal of engaging industry discussion on ways to modernize the Cellared in Canada label in a manner which meets federal food labelling laws, ensures clarity to consumers and respects industry business interests that the BCWI Board of Directors endorsed (see link: http://goo.gl/Cs3t7r). At its July 5, 2016 meeting in Kelowna, the CVA Board of Directors approved engaging an independent third party to facilitate a national discussion in fall 2016 with senior CFIA officials to confirm their participation and preference for industry to engage independently of government to reach consensus to guide blended wine labelling.
November update: CVA has completed consultations with representatives of industry to discuss blended wine labelling. Meetings were held in Toronto and Penticton and included industry members from Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and BC, from small, medium and large wineries, VQA exclusive to VQA/ICB producers. A representative of CFIA provided detailed information on labelling regulations at each meeting, as well as the current food labelling modernization process underway for all food products. Michael Procopio, BC LDB, provided a presentation on the VQA and ICB/CIC sales and consumer segments (see the following link https://goo.gl/HKq8tc). The CVA reported that overall industry agreed that the term “Cellared in Canada” iss outdated, confusing and needs to be replaced. Generally, industry agreed that listing all countries of origin on labels would be burdensome and difficult. While some points of view were not shared by everyone, the motivation to seek consensus was strongly demonstrated and flexibility was shown by all participants. The final report and recommendations are now under review and development by The Strategic Counsel, the consulting firm hired by CVA to lead this process. Upon completion, the report will be reviewed by the CVA Board of Directors. Labelling recommendations will be forwarded to CFIA for consideration and adoption in federal law.
BC Wine Industry Plebiscite - In a letter to Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick, the BCWI endorsed industry support for the implementation of changes resulting from the BC Wine Industry Plebiscite. The plebiscite was conducted by the BC Wine Authority following the BC Wine Appellation Task Group’s report and recommendations calling for amendments to the Wines of Marked Quality Regulation. The BC Wine Appellation Task Group was an ad hoc task group initiated by the BCWI and wine industry stakeholders with a mandate to bring forward recommendations that would represent the interests of all 100% BC wine producers (see following link: http://goo.gl/4930s4).
December update: BC's Wines of Marked Quality Regulation has been updated to enable wineries to state sub-geographic indications on their wine bottles. The changes were included in the BCWI-initiated BC Wine Appellation Task Group’s industry-approved recommendations (see link https://goo.gl/0Wxqvs).
BC Winery Satellite Tasting Rooms – BCWI supports allowing manufacturers to have off-site locations where they can sample and sell their products, and made formal recommendations to BC’s Liquor Policy Review. Parliamentary Secretary John Yap’s final report included a recommendation (#33) to: Allow manufacturers to have off-site locations where they can sample and sell their products to the public (e.g., permanent tasting rooms in a downtown store). The BCLCLB reported to the BCWI’s BC Wine Industry Symposium on July 5, that this recommendation is currently under review and work on it will continue following completion of the new Liquor Control & Licensing Act’s regulations.
BC Wine & Culinary Centre – BCWI continues to advocate for the establishment of the BC Wine & Culinary Centre as an innovative and sustainable business initiative to provide the local wine, food and agri-tourism producers and suppliers with a year-round facility designed to promote, showcase, celebrate and encourage visitors to explore what the province has to offer from a wine and agri-tourism perspective.
BCWI Objective: Interprovincial wine barriers, with focus on Alberta, will be removed.
Bill C-311 Direct to Consumer Shipping – June 28 marked the four-year anniversary of MP Dan Albas' private member's bill, C-311, that amended the federal law to allow for direct to consumer wine shipping. The BCWI continues its work to see that Canadians can buy wines from wineries not located in their own province. In the first four years since the passing of Bill C-311, only BC, Manitoba and Nova Scotia allowed inter-provincial wine imports for personal use. On July 24, 2016, the Province announced a new Inter-Provincial Trade Agreement with Ontario and Quebec to allow consumers in those provinces to order BC wine online through the respective provincial liquor control boards. While an important first step, the BCWI continues to advocate for 100% BC wine to be shipped directly to consumers across Canada.
BCWI Objective: BC Liquor Distribution Branch will increase number of listings of BC VQA Wines.
BCLDB opportunities to assist in increasing BC VQA market share – BCWI’s position is to see current BC LDB BC VQA marketing programs expanded, with a focus on an increased number of listings of BC VQA Wines and is working with the BC LDB on a cohesive marketing plan promoting the BC VQA category.
November update: the BCWI BC Liquor Store Task Group has achieved its mandate for increased opportunities for BC VQA Wines in the channel with confirmation of BCLS's commitment to increase from 47 to 80 BC Liquor Stores featuring four new BC VQA Wines each month. The BCWI will continue to monitor and plan sales and marketing tactics for the channel.
A Nov 16 webinar by BC LDB and BC Liquor Stores explained how wineries can take advantage of BC Liquor Store BC VQA Wine programming (see links: https://goo.gl/FaLilQ & https://goo.gl/JcKpZK). For questions about retail and BCLS listings, email: firstname.lastname@example.org For questions about wholesale, email: email@example.com.
BCWI Objective: Regulatory climate for industry will improve and our resources will achieve measurable objectives and return on investment.
Agri-Tourism on ALR Properties – As a member of the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), the BCWI supports and works in cooperation on issues of common interest, specifically, support for their submission to the proposed Minister’s Bylaw Standard Criteria (Bylaw Guide) for agri-tourism within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) calling for a coherent framework for supporting agri-tourism activities in select circumstances (see link: http://goo.gl/XymH4L).
Municipal Tax Recognition of Agri-Tourism – The BCWI has worked with the BC Chamber of Commerce to develop policy that ensures the expansion and development of BC wineries engaged in agri-tourism by providing recognizable and measurable tax relief that offsets the light industrial assessment applied to buildings on agricultural properties only when the activity is related to alcohol production.
BC VQA Wine Store Transition from Consignment - BCWI is working with the BC LDB on the transition from Consignment Model to Purchase Model at BCWI BC VQA Wine Stores-in-grocery on a workable solution that meets regulartory requirements.
Food Safety and Sanitation Plan – The BCWI has requested from the Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction (Minister Coralee Oakes) that, as alcoholic prohibits foodborne pathogens, BC wineries be exempt from Food Premises Regulation regulatory requirements, including a written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point-based (HACCP) food safety and sanitation plan. Further, because BC VQA Wine is registered with the BCWA, traceability, general health and safety lab tasting and export documentation requirements are already in place, monitored and auditable. The BCWI recommends to government that in order to meet minimum food safety requirements under BC regulations, BC wineries voluntarily complete the CVA National Safe Winemaking Program (see link: www.winesecure.ca).
BCWI Objective: Various levels of government and representatives from other industry groups recognize BC Wine Institute’s proactive leadership role in advocacy and promoting a united front.
The BCWI has met with various federal and BC MPs, including the Liberal Party of Canada’s Pacific Caucus, to provide an update on the success of the BC wine industry, as well as suggestions for federal government industry support to offset potential advantages to foreign, imported wine resulting from recent free trade agreements and to take advantage of the estimated 11% increase in the Canadian wine market by 2018. In collaboration with the CVA, the BCWI is advocating for a 30% federal Vintners Investment Tax Credit (VITC) for eligible winery investment and a new Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) to allow for direct-to-consumer shipping of 100% Canadian wine (see link: http://goo.gl/X5F0gS).