By Cary M. Greene
Last week, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association (“WSWA”) and the National Beer Wholesalers Association (“NBWA”) published a pair of opinion pieces in The Hill
, http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/161887-the-right-approach-to-alcohol-policy, and Huffington Post
In defending the indefensible H.R. 1161, the associations accused the “opposition,” which includes WineAmerica, of being composed of:
…a syndicate of foreign-owned distillers and brewers, wine conglomerates, and unaccountable online alcohol sellers.
Apparently, this nefarious “syndicate”:
…use[s]…the courts in attempt to pad their pockets at the expense of responsible regulation that the CARE Act would address.
If it wasn’t obvious that H.R. 1161 was without substance before, http://wineamerica.blogspot.com/2011/04/update-on-care-act.html, the deliberate cheap shots against our industry partners should end all speculation. But apart from the attacks, the deliberate exclusion from the policy debate of the many thousands of small family producers throughout the United States—who, incidentally, would be directly harmed by the CARE Act—speaks loudest above the din of wholesaler bombast.
It’s not bad enough that wholesalers dismiss small brands and producers in the marketplace—as is widely understood, the dynamic growth of the wine industry over the past three decades has been driven mostly by direct sales to consumers and self-distribution—now, wholesalers are trying to deliberately exclude us in the policy forum as well.