Farm Bill: Here We Go. The most consequential piece of legislation for the grape and wine industry is now on its way, and WineAmerica has already begun weighing in. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) have officially invited comments from anyone interested in this bill, which sets agricultural priorities for the next five years. Even before that invitation, WineAmerica’s Michael Kaiser had been meeting with Hill staff in both chambers and of both parties. More detail on the bill’s wine industry impact will be included in future newsletters.
Nutritional Information and Ingredient Labeling: WineAmerica members were brought up to date this week about the forthcoming issues of nutritional information and ingredient labeling on alcoholic beverages (not just wine), and how WineAmerica plans to address them.
The members-only Zoom session on Wednesday included dozens of winery owners from around the country, along with members of WineAmerica’s Board of Directors, Government Affairs Committee, and State and Regional Associations Advisory Council.
Michael Kaiser, WineAmerica’s Executive Vice President and Director of Government Affairs, provided historical context, summarized the results of a WineAmerica survey with over 630 respondents, and discussed the organization’s next steps, including future Zoom meetings as the process moves along. One of the key topics will be findings from consumer research on attitudes toward these issues, including the increasing desire for more transparency in food and beverage labeling.
Even though TTB has not even issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WineAmerica wants to stay ahead of the curve. While the survey was sent to both non-members and members, future activities will likely be limited to WineAmerica members.