Friday, 1 October 2021

German beer (part two)

It's odd how much time the CBK (the Dutch brewers' organisation) dedicated to discussing German beer imports. Especially when they could easily sell any beer they managed to produce. Their mindset was still in pre-war mode.

They were very keen that the import duty on German beer be raised so that it was taxed at the same level as Dutch beer.  It's a bit strange that goods being moved around areas under German control were being charged duty when they crossed the former borders. It doesn't seem very efficient. Then again, the Nazis were a bit of a disaster when it came to organisation.

 "8. Increase in excise duty and import duty.
A reduction in gravity for heavy beer to 9% and for lager to 7% means a reduction of about 10% compared to the current gravities, which will have to be offset by an increase in excise duty of about 11%. The excise duty is currently f 2.20 per H.L.º, so that it will have to be approximately f 2.45, which means per H.L. beer of 9.34% Balling. It may also be urged that the specific import duty on German beer be raised from f. 9.- to f. 9.40 per H.L., in order not to give imported beer an advantage over Dutch beer with regard to the excise duty. "
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 5th March 1941, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 248.

They were also getting their knickers in a twist about the quantity of German beer being imported. Far more than the agreed 25,000 hl. At least that's what they thought. Weird when in Germany rivers of beer weren't exactly flowing.

"A fundamental decision must be made in a meeting with the authorities on March 27. The speaker will first state that the very large increase in the import of German beer, contrary to all agreements made for this purpose, must stop. If this does not happen, the Speaker is of the opinion that it is pointless to take measures regarding sales restrictions and the like. This point of principle will be discussed later, as well as the question of whether to keep the distribution to customers in one's own hands or whether it is preferable to have an official voucher system. However, decisions about this will have to be taken by the board."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 26th March 1941, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 222.

It sounds like they were threatening the German authorities. Which, given their attitude to dissent, doesn't seem either very clever or safe. 

I'm still struggling with the idea of German brewers flooding the Dutch market.

"10. Importation of German beer.
With regard to the question of the import of German beer, the undertaking was repeated from both the German and the Dutch sides that it would not exceed 25,000 H.L. per calendar year. In this connection, the Speaker remarks that in recent weeks there has been a strong impression that these imports are increasing strongly. The speaker will therefore discuss this point in principle later in the meeting (see minutes of the 18th meeting, p.l, sub II.1.)

The speaker considers that there is no point in making further arrangements by the breweries if this matter is not adequately settled beforehand. You should be as strong as possible on this point. Furthermore, with regard to the sale of the German beer in the Netherlands, it has been promised that the same provisions will apply as for the Dutch beer, i.e. a proportional distribution with due observance of existing provisions, possibly also of Kundenschutz. Beer will be declared an import monopoly article for this purpose; on the basis of this, regulations can then be established for the imported beer."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 26th March 1941, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 231.

No idea what "Kundenschutz" means in this context. Only that the CBK was dead against it. It literally means "customer protection".


Andreas Krennmair said...

In German, the legal term "Kundenschutz" basically means a non-compete agreement, in particular with the regards the customers (as opposed to e.g. areas), and that the sales agents of one company will not poach existing customers of another company.

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