(Feb. 4/18): On January 15, Cascadia Partners submitted a report titled; Alcohol Industry Concerns & Opportunities Related to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) to B.C. policy advisor Mark Hicken to present to Minister Eby.

The report is a result from Restaurants Canada’s Raise the Bar provincial liquor report card released last November. The day before our Raise the Bar report was released, Minister Eby appointed Mark Hicken as his policy advisor for provincial liquor stakeholder relations.

Restaurants Canada met with Mark in December and outlined strategies for better wholesale pricing and licenser and licensee liquor sales. We joined other liquor stakeholder associations and as a group retained the services of Cascadia to collect data and input for the report.

The report identifies areas of common concern and explores emerging themes of industry unease. It also examines a wide range of opportunities that could mitigate and streamline problematic areas in B.C.’s alcohol industry.

The report examined five key issues:

  • The corporate structure of the BCLDB
  • Warehousing and distribution challenges
  • Retail pricing concerns
  • Data availability and sharing
  • Cannabis impact on alcohol sales

The report includes suggestions that the B.C. government and BCLDB could introduce to help make the province’s liquor industry more profitable and easier to navigate.

Restaurants Canada continues to press the BCLDB in regard to the difficulties of accessing inventory and unexpected variability in pricing. We also discussed how the lack of wholesale pricing is impacting the positive progress from the province’s 2015 liquor reforms.

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