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MBDA statement on June 18 privatization proposal

June 19, 2013

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Statement of Mark Tanczos, President of the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania:

While we greatly respect the time, effort and dedication to a fair resolution of the issue that has been placed into the effort by the chairman and many other legislators, we must oppose yesterday's proposal.

Apparently, we were unable to make clear the economic fact that our distributors cannot compete and survive if the number of stores that can sell case quantities is increased to 14,000, including grocery, big box and maybe even convenience stores. The proposed addition of other alcoholic beverages into the product mix does not change this equation, which is based on hard economics. This would be greater than a ten-fold increase in the number of alcohol outlets. The 1,200 families and our employees that serve as private enterprise beer distributors could not survive in this market.

The plan would create a ratio greater than one package store for every 900 Pennsylvanians, a system that is subsidized in Ohio with legally-imposed minimum prices. It would put all forms of alcohol into stores that are strong destination retailers for virtually all Pennsylvania residents. We believe this is neither in the best interest of society, our families and our 10,000 employees. Nor would it benefit our customers, the segment of the public that purchases and consumes malt and brewed beverages. For them, it would increase the number of outlets but devastate selection and ultimately increase prices.

We must strongly oppose this plan and respectfully ask the Senate, House and Governor Corbett to abandon their non-traditional process, and artificial deadlines that has excluded the kind of industry-based consensus building that has been effective in the past to resolve policy challenges.

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