VICTORIA – Grocery stores will be able to stock 100% B.C. wine on their shelves as early as April 1, 2015, creating new opportunities for B.C. wineries, supporting B.C.’s home-grown economy and addressing calls for added convenience from consumers.
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform said, “Creating a strong system of support for B.C. wineries is an important move by government, and including a model centred on 100% B.C. products when responding to one of the most popular Liquor Review Policy recommendations is a winning combination. This phased-in approach will give liquor retailers an opportunity to look at their existing model, to see if this is a model they want to adopt.”
The second phase of the liquor-in-grocery model will allow existing VQA stores and independent wine stores to relocate or transfer their licence to an eligible grocery store – as long as the licence is only used to sell 100% B.C. wine. Of note, these licences are not subject to the one-kilometre restrictions, allowing more flexibility and choice of locations when moving into a grocery store.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Suzanne Anton said,”Our wine-on-shelves model is unique to B.C., and strikes a balance between the enhanced convenience and choice for consumers and the promise we made to protect health and public safety.”
In addition, and in an effort to further support made-in-B.C. products, a limited number of new licences will also be made available specifically for the 100% B.C. wine-on-shelves model. Details on these licences will be available in the new year.
To ensure continued health and public safety protections, all off-the-shelf wine transactions will need to be done at designated registers, staffed by employees who have Serving It Right certification and are at least 19 years old.
Eligibility for grocery stores that sell 100% B.C. wine off the shelves will align with the “store-within-a-store” model criteria – maintaining a minimum of 10,000 sq. ft. and approximately 75% focus on food products and service.