VQA wine sales at the Guelph Farmers’ Market

Staff memo.

The aim of this e-mail is to provide both an update and information pertaining to the pilot VQA wine sales initiative at farmers’ markets as outlined by Regulation 720 under the Liquor Licence Act, and in particular how it effects the Guelph Farmers’ Market.

Since receiving the attached letter from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), staff from various departments have actively participated in the review of Regulation 720 under the Liquor Licence Act to determine how we should approach the potential implementation of allowing VQA wine sales at the Guelph Farmers’ Market. In addition, the Guelph Farmers’ Market Vendor Executive was contacted to obtain their opinion as to whether or not they see a benefit to the market permitting VQA wine sales and they have advised that they are in support of this initiative.

First a few basic principles to understand the Regulation.

• The AGCO makes the decision based upon applications received, as to which winery or wineries are permitted to sell their wine at farmers’ markets. In addition, the municipality still has the right to prohibit wine sales or set further rules for such sales.
• It can be any VQA winery that has obtained a licence from the AGCO
• It is a 2 year pilot project beginning in May, 2014

Based upon the feedback from our Legal Department, the City’s Alcohol Risk Management Policy (ARMP) committee, Bylaw and Finance (Risk Management) Departments a number of conditions have been developed that would be imposed on any VQA winery that is interested in selling their product at the Guelph Farmers’ Market during the 2 year pilot project starting May 1, 2014.

• Potential vendors would be required to complete the Guelph Farmers’ Market application form
• An attachment with each winery application would include the requirements from the City’s ARMP committee (noted below)
o Must comply with all AGCO requirements,
o Must sign the City of Guelph Farmers’ Market vendor rental contract,
o Is available to offer product sampling during standard Farmers Market Hours (Sat. 7am-12pm and/or Wed. 3pm-7pm)
o Must have proof of sufficient insurance,
o Cannot charge a customer for the tasting/sampling of their product,
o A single tasting sample service size cannot exceed 2 ounces for wine,
o Tasting samples provided to a customer cannot exceed 3 servings at up to 2 ounces of wine within a 24-hour period. (as an example, a customer can sample a 2oz white wine then a 2oz red wine, and then again try the 2oz white wine [consuming a total of 6oz or about 1 standard glass of wine] before choosing to buy the bottle)

In addition:
• Winery must have insurance – 2 million CGL with a liquor liability endorsement. The certificate must include the city as an additional named insured. The certificate must be provided prior to the event for review by City staff.
• While there are no set hours for sampling/tasting, we do have the option of applying a time limit (as an example – sampling from 10 am till noon on Saturdays and from 3pm till 7pm on Wednesdays)
• Market clerks would ask to see a Smart Serve card from each vendor working the winery space
• If space available, and all requirements are met, placement of winery(s) would occur

In conclusion, we are now open for business and are looking forward to being one of the first farmers’ markets to participate in the 2 year pilot project.
AGCO – VGA

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