Posts Tagged ‘Canada’s laws on importing wine’

Looking for a job in the wine, craft beer & spirits business?

Posted by Debbie

Friday, October 17th, 2014
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Want to know what people are always asking me?  Since I began working in the wine industry over 10 years ago, there are two questions that I am constantly asked:

“I was away on holidays in ‘wherever’ and discovered X Wine that isn’t at the LCBO.  How can I get it shipped into Ontario?” 

“I want to get a job in the wine and beer business. Any tips on where to start?”

If I had a loonie…no, make that a toonie….for each time these questions come up in a conversation while I have a glass of wine in hand, I would be drinking Champagne every day!

Opportunity Knocks

Importing for pleasure or profit

With the rapid growth of the wine, craft beer and premium spirits too, there are countless opportunities to either join an established agency or to start your own.  You just need to be ‘in the know’ about them.  Additionally, you can get in on the ground floor at local wineries, craft breweries and distillers who are staffing up before they open their doors.  Still you need to be ‘in the know’ as rarely are these job posted on Workopolis or Monster.

Keeping your ear to the ground approach may not conjure up many job opportunities quickly.

 So how to get a jump start?

The Answer: attend the informative seminar ‘Importing Wine, Craft Beer & Spirits for Pleasure & Profit’ led by industry expert Steven Trenholme.

Event info

This seminar is hosted three times a year (twice in Toronto & once in Ottawa). The next seminar takes place in Ottawa on November 1st, 2014.  For details and to register for the Ottawa event click here.  You can also attend the Toronto seminar on November 7th, 2014.

Can’t make this date?  Email cheers@savvycompany.ca to receive information once the next dates once they are set.

Introducing…Industry Guru Steven Trenholme

Steven he knows everything AND everyone in the industry. In his 30+ year career, he has been a wine agent, a brand manager for Mosel wines (of Germany), the Canadian representative for South African Wines, a ‘head hunter’ for wine and beer companies and a manager of a national agency.  Steven definitely has the ‘how tos’ for the above two questions that I am always asked!

“As Canadians thirst for more diversity in the alcoholic beverages that they consume, this presents a very real opportunity for new agents and importers,” states Steven. “There are hundreds of wineries around the world actively looking for importers to represent them in Canada, so there are many opportunities to develop a full or part-time career in the industry.”

What’s What at the LCBO

The statistics validate these opportunities too. During 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario  reported sales of over $3.2 billion worth of imported alcoholic beverages – a 6% increase over the previous year.  During the same year, the LCBO reported that overall beer sales hit $908.8 million – a 4% (or $35 million) increase of the previous year.

If you are intrigued about the wine, beer or spirits industry – whether importing it or getting involved in the growing Canadian industry, you will find Steven’s seminar invaluable.  The knowledge he will share will add credibility to your job application as it is THE ‘must attend’ seminar in the beverage alcohol business.  After this seminar, you’ll definitely have a head start on your job search or might even be inspired to go out on your own.  That is what happened to me. I attended it twice to keep up on the changing rules of importing wines, as well as the operations and processes of the LCBO and the SAQ in Quebec.

“There are still hundreds of wine suppliers around the world actively looking for importers to represent them in Canada, so there are certainly opportunities to develop a full or part-time career in the wine industry”, reports Steven.

Curious about the wine industry?

Rest assured that your head will be spinning from all of the information you collect at his seminar, yet Steven is only a few clicks away to help you get started or answer additional questions. He is a wealth of knowledge and THE man to know if you are curious about working in the wine industry or importing your favorite wines back after a trip abroad.

I have taken a few courses where ‘the business of wine’ has been a required component, but NOTHING has compared to the relevancy of Steven’s content. If you are considering a career in the beverage alcohol business in Ontario, you need this information. Steven is experienced, professional and he offers sound advice delivered succinctly in one day,
offers  Alyson Carmichael, LCBO Manager & Product Consultant in Oakville.

Only a few spots left…Sign up now & see you there!

Ottawa Seminar on Nov. 1 & Toronto Seminar on Nov. 8

 

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Looking for a job in the importing wine, beer & spirits business?

Posted by Debbie

Saturday, March 15th, 2014
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Since I began Savvy Company 10 years ago, there are two questions that I am constantly being asked:

“I was away on vacation in ‘wherever you’ve just been’ and found this outstanding wine. Is there a way that I can order more & have it shipped to Ontario?
The winery owner said that they would do it no problem!”

“I would like to get involved in the wine industry.  How do I become a wine agent?”

If I had a loonie…no, make that a toonie….for each time these questions come up in a conversation while I have a glass of wine in hand, I would be drinking Champagne every day!


The wine industry is fascinating.  I have found that the people involved are typically interesting, well-traveled and have a joie de vivre that is contagious. There are so many wine events for the genereral public, such as the Gourmet Food & Wine Show in Toronto or recently-hosted in Ottawa, County in the City where winemakers from Prince Edward County were showcasing their wines  – white wines, red wines, sparkling wines, you name it they make it.

While you are at these events to enjoy wines, the winemakers are often looking for people to help them sell their wine.  Becoming a representative of a winery while holding down your day job or starting a wine agency from the ground up are two ways to be a part of the rapidly growing wine industry.

 


Let’s crunch the numbers…

During 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) reported sales of over $3.2 billion worth of imported alcoholic beverages – a 6% increase over the previous year – even in a challenging economic environment. More than any other consumer product, the alcoholic beverage industry has the ability to weather periods of slow or negative economic growth. There is the saying that ‘people will drink in the good times and they will need a drink in bad times too.’

Statistics Canada recently reported on April 11,2013 that net income among the provincial and territorial liquor authorities rose 3.6 per cent to $6.1-billion. More than half this amount is from the sale of imported wine, beer & spirits.

There is no ‘how to’ manual about working in the wine industry.  In fact, there are rarely job postings on Workopolis or Craig’s List either.  Those who know of wine jobs are often ‘in the biz.’ In fact, just last week two wineries contacted me asking if would recommend an agent to sell their wines.

So how to get a jump start on a job in the wine industry? 

Each year we host 3 seminars (2 dates in Toronto & 1 takes place Ottawa) entitled ‘Importing Wine for Pleasure and Profit’ by renowned industry expert Steven Trenholme.  Steven he knows everything AND everyone in the wine industry.

The next seminar will take place in Toronto on June 7th , 2014.  For more details & to register, click here >>

In his 30+ year career, Steven has been a wine agent, a brand manager for Mosel wines (of Germany), the Canadian representative for South African Wines, a ‘head hunter’ for numerous wine companies to recruit people as wine agents and to top it all off, manager of a national wine agency.  Steven has the ‘how tos’ for the above two questions that I am always asked!

“As Canadian’s thirst for more diversity in the alcoholic beverages that they consume, this presents a very real opportunity for new agents & importers,” states Steven Trenholme.

If you are intrigued about the wine industry or are already an agent, you will find Steven’s day-long seminar invaluable.  Many of Ontario’s top wine importers and agents started their careers after attending this seminar. Several Savvy Sommeliers on my team – myself included – have gained valuable insight to importing wines, as well as learning the ins and outs of the operations and processes of the LCBO & the SAQ in Quebec.

“There are still hundreds of wine suppliers around the world actively looking for importers to represent them in Canada, so there are certainly opportunities to develop a full or part-time career in the wine industry”, reports Steven.

Rest assured that your head will be spinning from all of the information you collect at his seminar, yet Steven is only a few clicks away to help you get started or answer additional questions. He is a wealth of knowledge and THE man to know if you are curious about working in the wine industry or importing your favorite wines back after a trip abroad.

“I have taken a few courses where ‘the business of wine’ has been a required component, but NOTHING has compared to the relevancy of Steven’s content. If you are considering a career in the beverage alcohol business in Ontario, you need this information. Steven is experienced, professional and he offers sound advice delivered succinctly in one day,” offers  Alyson Carmichael, LCBO Manager & Product Consultant in Oakville.

 

Interested in taking this seminar?  The next seminar will take place in Toronto on June 7th , 2014.  For more details & to register, click here.

Have more questions about importing wine, spirits & beers, we will gladly help.  Simply email cheers@savvycompany.ca. Cheers!

 

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Free my Grapes – The Ontario Sequel . . .

Posted by Susan

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
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Bill C-311 states “…the importation of wine from a province by an individual, if the individual brings the wine or causes it to be brought into another province, in quantities and as permitted by the laws of the latter province, for his or her personal consumption, and not for resale or other commercial use.”

In June 2012, Bill C-311, presented by Dan Albas, MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, received royal assent just before the House of Commons rose for the summer. Why do we care?  Laws governing the transport and sale of alcohol across provincial boundaries dated back to 1928 and the Prohibition Era. Until the passage of Bill C-311 by unanimous vote of the House, it was a criminal offence to take or ship wine across provincial boundaries. Talk to European winemakers about this and they just shake their heads – “How can this be? You are one country, are you not! In Europe there is no issue shipping wine across national boundaries. We don’t understand why there is an issue in Canada!”  The goal of Bill C-311 was to remedy this situation by making legal:

Free My Grapes, in the person of Shirley-Ann George, was a driving force behind the Bill and its successful passage by the House. So we’re celebrating, right! Not so fast, as Shirley-Ann explained at a recent presentation to the National Capital Sommelier Guild. Read that excerpt again—‘as permitted by the laws of the latter province’.  Manitoba and British Columbia have essentially moved to respect the spirit of the law, allowing ordering and shipping of wine across their boundaries. Credit for BC changing its laws within two weeks of the passage of Bill C-311 goes to the many BC wine lovers and wineries that ensured this issue was front and centre on the political agenda for more than a year. But monopolies such as the LCBO and SAQ, who actively lobbied against C-311, have yet to clarify their positions.  While provincial law in Ontario is silent with respect to the importation or possession of wine from other provinces, the LCBO has issued a ‘policy statement’ restricting wine imports to in-person transport only. While this policy statement probably has no legal effect, there are stiff penalties for violation of Ontario liquor laws – for the individual, fines of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year! Why should you have to take this risk?

This brings us to Bill 117, introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by Rob Milligan, Conservative MPP from Northumberland – Quinte West, to the Ontario Legislature at the end of August 2012. While the prorogation of the Ontario legislature means the bill has died, Milligan has committed to reintroduce the bill when the parliament resumes. So it’s still worthy of our consideration.  A summary follows:

“The Bill amends the Liquor Control Act to add a provision that permits individuals who are 19 years of age or older to import or cause to be imported wine into Ontario from another province if the wine is for their personal consumption and not for resale or other commercial use. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s powers do not apply to wine imported by an individual in accordance with that provision. The Government of Ontario is required to encourage the parties to the Agreement on Internal Trade to implement or amend measures to allow for the free movement of wine within Canada. A progress report must be tabled in the Legislative Assembly within three months after the Bill comes into force and every six months thereafter.

Similar provisions are added with respect to the importation of beer from other provinces. Those provisions only apply if the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (Canada) authorizes the inter-provincial importation of beer. “

Free My Grapes is working with the Canadian Vintners’ Association, among other groups, to support the passage of this Bill. We need the same type of all-party unanimous support for this Bill as that given for Bill C-311 at the federal level. Given that MPP Milligan is a member of the opposition party, it may take even more support from Ontario wine lovers to win the day!  There’s nothing like concerned wine-consuming citizens making their opinions known to their MPPs to ensure the appropriate level of awareness, understanding and attention to this matter.

If you want the opportunity to order wine from British Columbia, Nova Scotia, or any other province into Ontario, Free My Grapes encourages you and your friends/colleagues to first and foremost write your MPP asking her/him to vote in favour of Bill 117 or a similar bill that makes it legal for Ontarians to buy and ship red wine and white wine across provincial borders for personal consumption.   A sample letter and links that will help you find your MPP’s address can be found at Free My Grapes.ca. Tweeters can get updates on progress by following @FreeMyGrapes. The website is also a good source of information on what is happening in both Ontario and across Canada on this important matter.

It’s time to put an end to the outdated prohibition era laws that punish Canadians for buying great Canadian wines.

Together we can finally Free My Grapes!

 

 

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