Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mazza: Industry proving to be good investment

Had posted some of the conversation with Bob Mazza, president of the state winery association, about the impact of the economy and specifically what's going on in New York, where there are fears that Gov. David Patterson will cut off funding entirely to the Wine & Grape Foundation. I asked Mazza if there are similar concerns in Pennsylvania.

"I think every state's gotta fear something right now because of the state of the economy on a federal level and actually that trickles down to a state and local level, so, year, we all gotta be concerned about that," Mazza said by phone. "New York has been receiving substantial funding for a good number of years, probably over 20 years now, and that’s probably an area they're going to take a look at. But that’s kind of beating your chest to start out with and then of course everybody kind of moves down the line. I don’t think that’s going to happen, to be quite honest with you. I don’t think they are going to cut all the funding I think they’ve seen a tremendous return on their investment and that’s what it’s all about, that's the case you continually make is, 'Hey, whatever money you spend, we return much more, and it’s a good sound investment.' You don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water. You gotta get rid of the bad programs that don’t work and aren’t returning anything on the investment and certainly keep continuing to support the programs that do, and I think it’s been proven that [the wine industry] does. So they just need to make that case."

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