Bottom Line Header

October 12, 2007
Dear Friend:

One of the liquor distributors who visited me this summer mentioned that Florida is the best test market for new alcohol products. He said that because of the diverse population of this state you can test a new product on a wide array of consumers, and sales in Florida are a great way to predict sales nationwide.

This week I traveled to Orlando to speak to members of the Retail Beverage Council. The organization’s members are a mix of retail stores and bars, and the meeting was attended by manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Some of the meeting was about new product lines and about trends in marketing. They had seminars on holiday packaging, and they had a beverage show where they were showing new products ranging from high-end rums to tequila with scorpions in the bottles.

But the members also talked about the regulatory environment and the three-tier system. Florida’s alcohol industry is tightly regulated in three tiers: manufacturers (like Bacardi, Absolut or Anheuser-Busch), distributors (who obviously distribute the alcohol) and retailers (from Publix to the Flora-Bama). Each one is restricted to its particular role in the marketplace and except in limited circumstances cannot assume the responsibilities of another tier. They are also restricted in their ability to influence another tier’s activity and cannot inappropriately reward someone in another tier for promoting their product.

Our challenge as regulators is to make sure that the rules are clear to those whom we regulate, and we are engaged in rulemaking to clarify the rules relating to the three-tier system. In our efforts to regulate fairly, we must not impose unduly burdensome requirements on any one tier.

We also discussed underage drinking and the efforts the retailers have undertaken to educate their communities. We are going to work with the industry to promote the Responsible Vendor Program, and we are going to provide education on identifying fraudulent i.d.s.

And finally, we shared some great news: next Monday we will be joined by a new Director of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Cyndi Hill. Cyndi served with the Department for 18 years, and her last position with us was as Captain of the Jacksonville office. After leaving us, she served as Statewide Captain, in charge of operations and inspections for then Attorney General Charlie Crist and most recently served as the Bureau Chief for the Florida Park Police at Department of Environmental Protection. She is bright, warm and a quick study. She will be an incredible asset to us and to those whom we regulate.

The Council members were very eager to work with our Department to set high standards for their industry.

Sincerely,
Secretary Benson Signature
Holly Benson
Secretary

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation

1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:
850.487.1395

www.MyFloridaLicense.com

Board Schedule header

Here is a schedule of next week’s professional board meetings. For full meeting details, we’ve included a link
below to the department’s online calendar.

October 15, 2007
BOARD OF COSMETOLOGY
MIAMI

October 16, 2007
FLORIDA STATE BOXING COMMISSION
Telephone Conference Call

October 16-17, 2007
FLORIDA REAL ESTATE COMMISSION
ORLANDO

October 17, 2007
FLORIDA BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
WEST PALM BEACH

BOARD OF EMPLOYEE LEASING COMPANIES
TAMPA

October 18, 2007
FLORIDA BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
WEST PALM BEACH

October 18-19, 2007
BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
TAMPA

Professional Board Newsletters
Published this Week:
Asbestos
Barbers
Construction Industry
Employee Leasing Companies

To download a free copy, visit:
www.myflorida.com/dbpr/os/newsletters.html

Secretary Benson at the Retail Beverage Council Seminar and Trade Show

Photographed at the Retail Beverage Council Educational Seminar and Trade Show in Orlando (from left): Craig Kodish (Shaw-Ross International Importers), Charles Bailes (ABC Fine Wine & Spirits), Scott Dick (Retail Beverage Council), Secretary Holly Benson, and Jim Calaverne
(Shaw-Ross International Importers)

Did You Know header

That there are approximately 1,115 Beer, Wine and Liquor stores in Florida (3.48% of total US) generating $788,552,000 in sales and $65,533,000 in payroll to 5,425 employees. This does not include beer, wine and liquor sold in grocery and other stores. (Source: Economic Census, U.S. Census Bureau)

If you have a question regarding your application or to become licensed, contact our Customer Call Center at 850.487.1395 or use our convenient contact form.

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