Region’s Chamber of Commerce Asks Niagara to Support Local Breweries and Avoid “Buck-a-Beer”

“A quality beer cannot be brewed for $1 per unit. To meet this challenge, Niagara’s breweries would have to make enormous compromises on quality and abandon the reputation for outstanding beer which they have so painstakingly built.”           – Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

A Message from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Posted August 9th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

Ontario Premier Doug Ford holds up a cold one following his “buck-a-beer” announcement this past August 7th

Niagara, Ontario  The Government of Ontario has recently announced its Buck a Beer policy. This program offers no direct financial incentives but lowers the price floor for beer to $1 and will offer LCBO shelf space and promotional advantages to breweries who lower their price to that floor.

Breweries in Niagara and across Ontario have assured both the GNCC (Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce) and the Province that a quality beer cannot be brewed for $1 per unit.

To meet this challenge, Niagara’s breweries would have to make enormous compromises on quality and abandon the reputation for outstanding beer which they have so painstakingly built.

The cost of living is rising in Ontario, and that includes not merely the necessities of life but also its pleasures. The cost of beer is being driven upwards by federal excise tax increases, for instance, and we certainly understand that the Government of Ontario wishes to reverse that trend for Ontarians.

However, as Beer Canada has pointed out, the reason why beer has become more expensive is not the price floor, but the large tax burden imposed on beer, which the government has not acknowledged.

Ford posted this on Facebook a few days before his announcement.

Buck-a-beer effectively promotes those firms able to meet the $1 price floor and penalizes those which cannot. Despite what the government has said, promotional preference in the LCBO offers an enormous advantage and does carry a quantifiable financial value.

The breweries which will be able to meet this challenge are the giant international firms which can harness great economies of scale, which brew lower-quality beer with ingredients and additives that reduce both price and quality, which buy aluminum in bulk with guaranteed pricing, and so on.

Among the biggest breweries in the world with a Canadian presence are American brewer Molson Coors, Chinese-owned Tsingtao, Belgian-Brazilian firm Anheuser-Busch, Dutch brewer Heineken International, and the Danish Carlsberg Group.

None of the ten biggest breweries in the world are even Canadian-owned, let alone based in Ontario. Buck-a-beer effectively offers government-sponsored market advantages to large, foreign-owned businesses at the expense of small Ontario employers.

In this era of trade wars and international uncertainty, the GNCC will continue to support local firms, and we urge the Government of Ontario to do the same.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the largest business organization in Niagara and the third-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,600 members representing 50,000 employees.

More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca.

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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3 responses to “Region’s Chamber of Commerce Asks Niagara to Support Local Breweries and Avoid “Buck-a-Beer”

  1. While Premier Ford promotes his “Buck a Beer” he fails to acknowledge that the cost of production has increased in the last decade. If breweries cannot meet the current minimum price of $1.25 per bottle, how can he expect them to meet the $1.00 a bottle. Because his promotion is limited to alcoholic content of less than 5.6% Ford must be directing his challenge to the non alcoholic breweries. Ford must be directing his challenge to one who can colour water to that of a beer and use artificial beer flavour. Since Nestle gets its water at a discount perhaps it will accept the challenge.

    Like

  2. The problem is that PCs don’t care about quality. In anything. Only quantity and optics count.

    Like

  3. Absolutely, I support the craft breweries – period. They should not have to bow to Doug Ford’s stupid ideas and lack of knowledge of that industry.

    Like

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