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Last week we received the first deliberation on the challenge advanced to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by Australia to rectify taxation and markup policies deemed unfair and currently in effect in Canada for Canadian wine producers. I’m not going to delve into the economic or international trade policy analysis here when the respected and brilliant Karen Graham at WineDrops spells it out with crystal clarity

Ms. Graham ends her article with what she calls some “tough love” and also notes that it’s high time to remove internal trade barriers and allow all Canadians to have access to wine produced in any Canadian Province. “Eliminating Canada’s internal trade barriers would help limit the economic pain undergone by wineries in recent months, and take the sting out of the coming transition to a full and fair tax and markup platform” she explains. I couldn’t agree more.

Who in the Canadian Wine Industry will Survive? 

The price to pay for our wineries will undoubtedly be onerous, and in some cases even too much to bear. If our wineries are going to have a chance to survive (or even thrive) in these new, competitive fair-market conditions, many may need to change the way they work, tightening up operational efficiencies, becoming more aggressive and creative with marketing, and of course equipping their teams with the skills, knowledge, and mindset they need to increase sales across all channels. None of these represent a “quick fix”. Change is tough to accept and it’s hard work.

Smoother Sailing Ahead for Canadian Wineries? 

Sign up for the Beyond The Wine newsletter where I will be sharing specifics on tools that will ensure winery teams won’t feel like a sailboat tossed in a hurricane when these new measures come into effect. These tools and techniques will support teams and their leaders as they build a strong foundation that will give them their best chance at successfully navigating these turbulent waters we’re about to sail through!