LatinaLista — One of the most aspirational goals that personify the “American Dream” is the notion of creating a business that is carried through the generations of a single family.
Aside from small local businesses, there is no greater example of that American Dream than in the wine industry — or so we thought.
For decades, we’ve watched the television commercials, seen the billboard signs and believed the hype that the wines we share with our family and friends come from the vineyards of families like our own.
Over the last year, thanks to the good work being done at United Farm Workers, we are learning how these vineyards are not very family-friendly when it comes to their workers.
Now, we know it’s because families “like ours” aren’t running them.
A new report titled The Myth of the Family Winery: Global Corporations Behind California Wine untangles the vines of marketing deceit to show us the true landscape of the California wine industry, which helps explain why the lives of their farm workers are seen as nothing more than expendable commodities.
According to the report:
Six of the seven producers that own 82 percent of U.S. wine are global corporations.
Six of the ten top wine producers also own spirits and beer brands.
The Wine Institute, despite its tag line of the “Voice of California Wine,” is controlled by executives from Diageo, Constellation Brands, Foster’s, and Brown-Forman, multinational conglomerates all based outside of California and with product portfolios that also include major spirits and beer brands.
Because the bottom line is all about the business, these conglomerates have little interest other than growing their own profits. Unfortunately, as a big business dealing with a product that really requires responsibility and accountability, both from the companies and consumers, it’s disheartening to read of these companies’ agendas that counters a way to keep more people safe and potentially help lower the nation’s deficit.
The California wine industry promotes an image of small mom and pop vintners in picturesque, rolling hills and valleys of Napa, Sonoma, and around the state. In reality nearly all of the leading wine producers in California are massive corporations that are integrated with “Big Alcohol,” multinational conglomerates promoting and controlling politics in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
…the global corporations that own California wine are determined to deregulate alcohol in every state through diminishing the three-tier alcohol system, consolidating distribution, and most importantly, by applying undue influence on the political process that includes defeating efforts to increase alcohol taxes and fees at both the state and federal levels.