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INDUSTRY NEWS DAVID RIPPENTROP: GETTING THE JOB DONE IN BEVERAGE INDUSTRY RECRUITING
For beverage industry employers, finding the right candidate is as important as having the best products and service ready and waiting for their company’s clientele. And when it comes to finding the best people for those jobs—getting beverages and spirits from the manufacturers to the bars, tables and retailers--recruiter David Rippentrop takes the guesswork out of the employee search process. David Rippentrop, who specializes exclusively in recruiting for beverage industry companies, has the tools and strategies beverage companies need to find the best candidates, set timely appointments and conduct efficient interviews. Once the process is underway, Rippentrop offers superb follow-through, educating his client companies on interviewing practices and laws and seeing new employees through a thorough training process. With hiring and other employment practices as a major investment for beverage companies, his goal is to make sure those funds are best spent and only the best matched candidates meet with the employers. Rippentrop understands how important time and money are to the beverage industry employer. Even when a company asks a recruiter many questions, and the right ones, ultimately the choice in selecting a recruiter should be simple. The answer and your solution to your hiring needs comes in the form of a single recruiter, MRI’s, David Rippentrop. With his solid track record in the industry, he proves that with a little bit of specialized help, the recruiting process can be a quick and pleasurable one. His expertise will bring you impact players, save you time, money, and give you the ability to focus on your current responsibilities.For more information, please see page147 in the California Marketplace Section or call (503) 290-1141.

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AGAVE PRICE SINKS TO A NEW LOW
Similar to what Australian vintners have faced in recent years, an agave glut in Mexico is causing a crisis among local farmers. Seven years ago the plant responsible for making tequila was viewed as such a lucrative enterprise due to under-planting that most farmers and even non-farmers wanted a piece of the action. Now, prices are as low as $4 per agave plant after a prior peak of $70. The National Chamber of the Tequila Industry estimates that agave farmers planted a total of about 300 million plants from 2000 to 2003, nearly four times what the industry typically requires. With a harvest cycle of about seven years, the first crops are now ready. Members of the agave farmers union claims that some tequila makers are paying less than 2 cents a pound, half of the official rate. As a result, farmers are going bankrupt and burning their agave fields in favor of planting another crop, such as corn. Disease is also running rampant in the agave fields, a sign that farmers are paying less attention. Tequila producers warn that a major cutback in production could lead to an agave shortage in a few years and take an eventual toll on the industry. To help prevent that from happening, the Mexican tequila industry last year began requiring farmers to register their crops. The government has also approved a number of initiatives to help struggling agave farmers.

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FORMER ALLIED EXEC PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD
Michael Domecq, the former president and co-owner of Domecq Importers Inc. of Larchmont, N.Y., and Old Greenwich,Conn., today pleaded guilty and has agreed to serve 10 years in prison for conspiring to commit tax fraud and to defraud Allied Domecq. Michael was originally indicted in 2000 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for participating in a scheme to divert more than $14.6 million from Domecq Importers into personal offshore bank accounts. The conspiracy took place from at least as early as 1989 until October1995, according to a press release. Domecq was the president of Domecq Importers until 1995 and then he became the president of Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, Latin America. Three former top executives of Domecq Importers – cfo Alfredo Valdes, vp of marketing Gabriel Sagaz, and vp of sales Thomas Kaminsky -- previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the same conspiracy. Sentencing for Domecq is set tentatively for August 15, 2007.
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