Alcohol regulation hurts fair trade shops

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fairhills-fair-trade-wine-branko-collinA recent tightening of the Dutch law regulating the sales of alcoholic drinks in supermarkets has affected fair trade stores, Volkskrant reports.

Another victim of the law are tourist information offices who often sell regional beers as part of their services. The new law states that a store needs to have a floor space of at least 15 square metres and needs to sell both pre-packaged and unpackaged food. Fair trade shops tend to fall short of this regulation.

Huub Jansen, spokesperson for Wereldwinkel (the Dutch fair trade chain), called the regulation “strange, because we are still allowed to sell wine through the iInternet and in Christmas packages.”

Junior minister Martin van Rijn hopes the new rule makes it harder for youths to purchase alcohol. “Producers in developing countries are hurt by this regulation”, parliamentarian Vera Bergkamp of D66 countered. She feels Van Rijn should see if a solution can be found for Wereldwinkel.

Jansen added: “Most of our customers are middle-aged women. Our wine turnover is 250,000 bottles a year. That is a substantial hit for wine producers in Chili and South Africa.”

See also: Botox voucher in employees’ Christmas package

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