How It Works
If your company is interested in exploring the possibility of introducing your products to the LCBO, here is some helpful information to understand the process. The LCBO is one of the largest government buyers in the world. From time to time they ask for different categories of wines, beers and spirits from all over the world through a needs letter. Every Supplier (Winery, Distillery, Brewery) needs an Agent to represent their products, navigate the process of the LCBO and submit product information in a timely manner to fulfill the LCBO needs letter requests.
Here are the steps:
The LCBO must sift through many submissions and will decide on a small few to take through to the next step. If your product is selected they will require samples to be submitted for tasting and for lab analysis. Each of these steps have exact dates that must be met with exact instructions to follow which we will take care of and will inform you of any updates or requirements. If selected, the LCBO needs to approve labels and boxes and require a UPC/EAN and SCC codes. If the LCBO decides to purchase the product they will send a NTP (notice to purchase) to be reviewed by the Supplier and Agent. Once the Supplier agrees to this, the LCBO will send a Web PO, where the Supplier agrees to the conditions and they can proceed with the shipment as outlined in the conditions. The Web PO must be reviewed by the Supplier and acted upon.
- Name Unique Wines & Spirits as your Agent to act on your behalf on all product submissions to the LCBO. There is a document that must be filled out in order to do this. This document must be completed on the Supplier’s letterhead and signed by you (the Supplier).
- An Agency Agreement is a contract between the Supplier and the Agent and needs to be reviewed, agreed upon and signed by both parties.
- Both these documents need to be in place in order to represent your products to the LCBO. Once the LCBO sends out the next needs letter, we will contact you to submit your product via LCBO documents and processes which we handle on your behalf. Any useful materials about your product, such as third party reviews, awards achieved, product information and any other recognition is valuable information for you to provide to us. This will help your products stand out and increases your chances to be listed by the LCBO.
The LCBO usually pays the Supplier 90 days after the product arrives in their warehouse for the vintage category and 30 days after for the general list category. This process is well defined by the LCBO and they make no exceptions on their dates or their requirements. The key point to remember is that it takes time to get listed by the LCBO and we ask for your patience. The LCBO receives hundreds of submissions and from that they select what they need. If your product did not get listed we will continuously try at the next round of submissions on your behalf. Although it may take a few tries, the only way to get listed it to keep trying. We look forward to working with you!