Tyhmä ei ole se joka pyytää, vaan se joka maksaa
Alla sellaisenaan luku piemontelaisen La Spinetta -viinitilan Giorgio Rivettin uutiskirjeestä, jossa käsitellään monopolien kummallisuuksia. Kuten sitä, kuinka tila, joka tuottaa 25.000 pulloa, voi myydä monopolille 120.000 pulloa baroloa. Vaikka esimerkin ei tarvitse missään tapauksessa olla Suomesta, mieleen nousevat silti alta parin kympin barbarescot ja eräät muut hinnoillaan yllättävät rajallisen saatavuuden tuotteet. Lukekaapa ajatuksella.
”Some concerns… How the market reacts, when wine monopolies turn into very powerful buyers…
Some of you might be very familiar with the system of wine monopolies importing the wines from around the world and controlling the sales in their market. If you live in Scandinavia or Canada, you are very aware of this concept. But even some States in the US, like e.g. Pennsylvania have a government / state controlled board that buys and sells alcohol.
Not all monopolies work the same way, there are great differences between LCBO, SAQ, Systembolaget, AGLC, LCLB, ALKO, etc.. For a winery like us, that would like to be present in all those markets, this gets very confusing. In addition there are agents between the monopoly and the supplier, that take care of the logistics and/or of the extensive bureaucracy. They are the middleman between supplier and government buyer.
Some of these monopolies are buyers of gigantic volumes and therefore have an enormous buying power. The people who work for them and make buying decisions, decide for containers and containers of wine. Most monopolies have different listings. The general one, that may continue over years, where each year the same product with the newest vintage will be purchased and sold or a special listing, where more high end products find their place with a selected vintage. The enormous buying power in some markets result into very compatible consumer prices, especially if no extra alcohol taxes are being imposed. Also the portfolio diversity might increase due to the importance of a monopoly buyer.
From the winery point of you a permanent general listing of a wine, which is produced in large quantity, is extremely desirable. The monopoly gives tenders (similar to a pitch in business consulting or marketing) for such listings and the suppliers are invited to submit a wine and to participate in the tender. Lucky is the producer who wins such a tender.
La Spinetta is very active in some monopoly markets, less in others, but a general listing we have not yet achieved. On the one hand this might be a pity on the other we are not obligated to provide a big quantity of one wine to just one monopoly customer, which might force us to reduce sales in other markets. Participating in a tender or not, we always watch developments in monopoly markets. And lately we have to admit, that we find it concerning to see, that producers win tenders with quantities that seem to exceed their production and with aggressively low prices that seem impossible to us. How for example may a Barolo producer, who’s vineyards allow a maximum production of 25.000 bottles, win a tender for 120.000 bottles? Very mysterious to us and a development that we as a quality producer and representative of Piedmont wine making find tremendously worrisome…”