Brewers Welcome Improvements to Internal Trade

Brewers Welcome Improvements to Internal Trade

At Friday’s first ministers’ meeting, positive signals were announced that steps will be taken to consider ways to reduce the barriers that are currently in place in regards to the interprovincial trade of beer, wine and spirits.  Beer Canada, the voice of the people who brew our nation’s beers, welcomes the news that barriers related to beverage alcohol will be a priority going forward.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with his provincial and territorial counterparts agreed they will work together to consult industry and consumers to develop ways to further the sale of beverage alcohol with social responsibility obligations in mind. The Government of Canada indicated it will consider amendments to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act to remove the requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another be sold or consigned to a provincial liquor authority.

“There are more than 800 breweries in Canada and an estimated 10 million beer drinkers,” noted Beer Canada President Luke Harford. “There are many visible and invisible trade barriers for beverage alcohol and today’s announcement is a good signal that all governments understand the economic value of a healthy and growing beer category.”  

A 2018 Conference Board of Canada report states beer is Canada’s most popular alcoholic beverage. Beer is very much a local industry – 85% of beer sold in Canada is made in Canada. The beer economy contributed $13.6 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2016 and supports 149,000 Canadian jobs.

“Tax is 47% of the retail price of a case of beer on average in Canada,” said Harford. “Reducing trade barriers and keeping beer affordable is what is needed for Canadian brewers to grow and compete in today’s global economy.”