This week CAMRA Vancouver is launching its “Fess Up to Serving Sizes” (FUSS) Campaign which will address issues related to draft beer serving sizes. This campaign is focused on licensees declaring exactly what size of glass they are serving beer in, ensuring they deliver on the promise of this serving size, and then follow through by providing the full measure of beer advertised. It is not a campaign centered on advocating for licensees to serve pints over sleeves. It is a campaign that addresses both education and advocacy. We have high hopes support will spread beyond the craft beer community and to the general draft beer consuming public.
One of the legal obligations of a licensee in BC is that they must provide customers, upon request, a complete serving size/price list for every alcoholic beverage they offer. This list is not optional, as per the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) which states, in their Guide for Licensees in British Columbia, that, “you (licensee) must have a list available showing the types of liquor available, the size of each drink you sell and its price. Your price list should also include any drink specials you are currently offering. You (licensee) may post the price list as a printed list or on a board, or it can be available at all tables. At a minimum, it must be available to customers on request.”
The FUSS Campaign is focusing on persuading licensees to comply with this law so serving sizes are properly identified for the consumer, eliminating the misrepresentation of serving sizes, whether this misrepresentation is intentional or not. It is a fact that the majority of licensees do not comply with this law and the LCLB do not enforce this law, leaving the consumer at a disadvantage by not knowing what they are in fact ordering and paying for in advance. This is a basic consumer right.
Stage One of CAMRA Vancouver’s FUSS Campaign will see us writing a letter to our Corporate member licensees outlining their legal obligation to provide serving size lists and soliciting their support of the FUSS Campaign in order to set the “Gold Standard” in the hospitality industry. We hope by highlighting how not providing serving size-price lists negatively affects their customers, our Corporate members will comply, better serving CAMRA members and draft beer consumers in general. We will also be sending out similar letters to the appropriate hospitality industry associations urging them to have their members comply with the LCLB requirement of providing a serving size/price list to patrons.
To further encourage Corporate members and the hospitality industry in general to respect consumer rights, CAMRA BC is launching a “CAMRA BC Approved” decal campaign which will see local branches awarding decals to licensed establishments each year signifying the establishment meets CAMRA BC standards. One of the standards that must be met to be “CAMRA BC Approved” is to have a serving size/price list available for customers.
CAMRA Vancouver will also be providing education to members and consumers in general, about their legal rights as consumers by providing written material which will be made available on our website and at CAMRA sponsored and other craft beer events. We hope that by educating the general public about their consumer rights they will be better informed and able to insist that their rights be respected.
The second prong of Stage One of the FUSS Campaign will target the LCLB. CAMRA Vancouver will do so by sending a letter to the LCLB highlighting how the non-compliance of licensees in regards to providing serving size lists is negatively effecting consumers and urging the LCLB to enforce their laws to help eliminate the misrepresentation of draft beer serving sizes. Today we will also be starting our on-line
petition for draft beer consumers to sign. The petition will be presented to the General Manager of the LCLB at a future date.
CAMRA Vancouver will also send out a news release to local media advising them of the FUSS campaign. Also, we will be notifying local bloggers in order to create a buzz and publicize what we are trying to achieve. It is our hope that the FUSS Campaign spreads beyond the craft beer community as it affects all consumers of draft beer, not just craft beer drinkers.
Strategies and actions for Stage Two of the FUSS Campaign depend a lot on the response we get from Step One actions. We hope there will not be a need for Step Two but be rest assured there is an action plan in place to be announced when the time is right.
To begin supporting the FUSS Campaign, please take the time to sign the on-line petition and spread the word to any and all who enjoy draft beer in BC. Let’s make our voices heard and effect some positive changes for draft beer consumers of BC!
CAMRA Vancouver President