Reacting to new regulations in California, the Brewers Association is protecting its members from lawsuits.
What is it? Last week we provided an example of how an association can help its members navigate regulatory waters through education. This week we’re highlighting an association that’s taking steps to prevent members from plunging into regulatory disaster. Earlier this month, the latest phase of California’s long-established Proposition 65 went into effect. This regulation, which deals with protections against various chemicals, now calls for new signage warning shoppers about the risks Bisphenyl-A poses to pregnant women. And the Brewers Association (BA) is partnering with other food and beverage trade groups to pay the cost of and distribute sufficient signs to 88,000 California retailers. “Our contribution on your behalf is $10,000,” BA director Paul Gatza said in a blog post. “We are also participating in the creation of a portal for members to list their own brands for the state if you choose to.”
Why it works: Simply put, the association’s action will help protect its members from the serious risks facing brewers: regulatory violations and potential lawsuits. “There is something of a ‘cottage industry’ of lawyers who seek out Prop. 65 violations. The good faith effort made by the Brewers Association and coalition to get these signs posted in retailers covers members as having a similar good faith effort,” Gatza said in his post.
Other benefits: And that isn’t the only step BA has taken into the world of government regulation and advocacy. The organization is a strong advocate of the small-brewers tax differential, supports state brewers associations, promotes the brewing industry to congressional representatives, and aids the grassroots activist organization Support Your Local Brewery.