Sunday, May 11, 2008

New York Grape Task Force

WINE GRAPE TASK FORCE created by Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker is making some real headway in identifying key issues and obstacles facing the New York grape and wine industry. Orchestrated by Deputy Commissioner Jackie Czub and chaired by Kareem Massoud, the task force meetings have often involved direct discussions with representatives of other state agencies like the Department of Environment Conservation, Empire State Development Corporation, the State Liquor Authority, and the Department of Transportation. Yesterday we met with the Law Review Commission, which is taking a comprehensive look at New York ’s antiquated and counterproductive Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) law, as well as SLA regulations. The bottom line is that the State of New York (especially Agriculture & Markets) has been a great partner with our industry for decades, helping us grow and contribute ever more to the state economy; but there are certain areas like the ABC/SLA complexities that are hurting the state economy because they are preventing the true potential growth of our industry. The task force is scheduled to make final recommendations to Commissioner Hooker in early September prior to the grape harvest.
- from Jim Tresize