June 6, 2012
To Members of Parliament
House of Commons
Dear Member of Parliament:
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) supports overhauling the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, and Bill C-311 is an important first step in modernizing this archaic piece of legislation. However, we are concerned that the amendment does not go far enough and we urge you to also exempt wine purchased by restaurants.
Restaurants play an important role in the promotion of Canadian wines to both local residents and tourists alike. Often it is the restaurant industry that gives wine drinkers the first opportunity to sample wine from Canadian wineries. Many vintners work hand in hand with restaurateurs to create dining experiences, maximizing the use of Canadian wine and food products. Given the explosion of culinary tourism and the economic impact in rural communities in particular, efforts should be taken to reduce road blocks to create an environment that supports the growth of Canadian products.
Given the nature of many of the wineries in Canada, many have difficulty supplying large provincial liquor monopolies with the quantities needed to be listed as a core product. In many instances wineries choose to focus on sales to restaurateurs or the farm gate. To many wineries, restaurants are primary customers as well as an affordable means to market Canadian wines to new customers. However, both restaurants and wineries are frustrated due to legislation restricting access.
I urge you to take the next step to amend the Act to exempt wine purchased by restaurants in addition to consumers. Reducing barriers for the Canadian wine and restaurant industries will help build a strong partnership that will enhance and promote the economic and cultural fabric of the nation.
I trust you will give this due consideration.
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
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