Update as of July 26, 2013
WATCH THIS SPACE: 2014 DTC WINE SYMPOSIUM!
Planning for the 7th annual summit and fundraiser on direct marketing and sales is well underway. In the next few days, the Steering Committee will announce conference dates in January, location, and seminar topics.
Spoiler alert: the symposium will expand from one day to two days!
The DTC Wine Symposium is presented by and a fundraiser for Free the Grapes! and Coalition for Free Trade. Net income from the summit has funded Free the Grapes! actions this year including a press blitz in Boston, participation at Boston Wine Expo and Wine Riot, and has generated thousands of letters of support from consumers to their state representatives. Net income also funds litigation – e.g., Massachusetts – coordinated by Coalition for Free Trade. These two organizations have worked successfully with local associations and industry representatives to increase the number of legal states from 17 to 40, representing 89.5% of wine consumption.
LEGISLATIVE NEWS ON WINE SHIPPING LAWS
Massachusetts: Reps to Consider DTC Bills this Fall
We have been very busy supporting a favorable bill (House Bill 294) this year, which will be reconsidered when the legislative session resumes this fall. Please continue to encourage your consumers to visit www.freethegrapes.org and take two minutes to write their legislators. Just click here for copy that you can use, or visit our Massachusetts tab on our site.
Wine Institute reported that a hearing was held June 26 in the Joint Transportation Committee on H 3154 which is the bill to allow for fleet licensing of common carriers to address the DTC shipping issues faced by both FedEx and UPS in MA. There was no opposition expressed during the testimony.
Pennsylvania: DTC Shipping to be considered this fall
In June, the House passed House Bill 121, which allows DTC shipment but includes the problematic tax rates previous mentioned here. Like Massachusetts, industry reps anticipate more action on several favorable DTC bills this fall. You may have seen some recent press coverage indicating bi-partisan support for legal wine shipments. (Note that active bills are not part of the debate over privatization.) ACTION: Include a paragraph on PA in your upcoming consumer e-newsletter. We need consumer support letters. Just click here for copy to use.