A3 Quebec is closely monitoring the effect of the pandemic on the production of wines, beers and spirits

Montreal, August 13, 2020 - A3 Québec welcomes the price adjustment announced by the SAQ today, which represents an average increase of $0.42 on 65% of products, while 33% are unaffected and 1.6% will be adjusted downward. This adjustment reflects the demand from wine, beer and spirits producers that A3 Québec's 70 agencies represented during their most recent negotiations with the SAQ.

Wine, beer and spirits are agricultural products whose prices are influenced by several factors, including the exchange rate, excise tax, climatic variations and market conditions, which are obviously disrupted by the current pandemic," explained Roch Bissonnette, President of A3 Québec. “We agreed with the SAQ's decision to postpone the increase that had been planned in May because of the pandemic, but adjustments were necessary to help maintain the activities of producers hard hit by the crisis.

The products negotiated by the wine, beer and spirits agencies that are members of A3 Québec on behalf of 3,000 producers in some twenty countries represent annual sales of 3.6 billion, or 97% of sales made in the SAQ's branch networks.

We understand that the SAQ will make only one adjustment in 2020 and that this is an exceptional measure that takes into account the impact of the crisis on many Quebec households," added Roch Bissonnette. “In 2021, we intend to continue working with the SAQ that normally allows producers and their agents to adjust prices a few times a year."

The role of agencies

A3 Québec's member agencies employ more than 1,000 people. Each agency has its own identity, specialty and strategy. This great diversity makes it possible to offer Quebec consumers a varied choice of products that meets their tastes.

The agencies are, in a way, the extension of the wine, beer and spirits producers on the Quebec territory. They allow the producers they represent to find a place for their products on the shelves of SAQ branches. They promote and increase sales and act as sales representatives in the field for manufacturers who want to increase their market share.


The impact of the pandemic on production

The Covid-19 pandemic has a significant effect on the product production chain. In particular, the distancing measures have forced all the players to reduce their workforce, which has led to production delays at all stages: bottling, production of cardboard, glass, corks, labels, palletization, etc. The SAQ has granted certain exceptions to producers in recent months to allow them to meet delivery deadlines, particularly when labels meeting Quebec standards were not available.

"We will be closely monitoring the harvest period that will begin in the coming days, because while in some countries labour will be available due to the many layoffs, in others the lack of personnel could jeopardize the harvest," added Roch Bissonnette.

Within a few months, A3 Québec also expects that some producers will be faced with an overproduction issue due to the effect of the pandemic on the slowdown in the restaurant industry. This challenge is in addition to the one of inviting consumers to discover new products in a context where it is still forbidden to organize product tastings.


About A3 Québec

Founded in 1969, A3 Québec has 88 members, including 70 wine, beer and spirits agencies, which account for more than 97% of SAQ sales. Working on behalf of producers, these agencies work to develop the wine, beer and spirits market in Quebec. A3 Québec organizes an annual event.

La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, the largest wine event in Eastern Canada.


For more information, visit www.a3quebec.com


For more information or to request an interview : Raphaël Rochette  - 514 923-9092 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.