The Ontario government and the government of Canada are investing in Ontario’s craft cider industry to kick off Cider Week. The investment will help grow the sector by increasing market access and creating new economic opportunities for Ontario’s craft cider producers.
The Ontario Craft Cider Association will receive up to $220,000 under the Growing Forward 2 initiative to:
- Implement a study to assess 29 European apple varieties and their juice quality for local craft cider production
- Evaluate how cider cultivars perform in five distinct growing regions in the province
- Create a benchmark for growers when establishing new orchards in these regions
This funding is part of nearly $400,000 in federal and provincial government support for Ontario cideries through Growing Forward 2 – a federal-provincial-territorial funding program that encourages innovation, competitiveness, market development, adaptability and industry sustainability in Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sector.
- his year, Ontario Cider Week runs from May 27 to June 4.
- With sales rising by 89 per cent per year from 2011 to 2015, Ontario craft cider is one of the fastest-growing sales categories through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) stores.
- This investment will help 19 Ontario craft cideries to be more competitive and expand their markets. Through growing European varieties of apples in Ontario, they will be able to compete with the more established European cider imports.
- Since 2013, the governments of Ontario and Canada have committed more than $39 million to more than 750 projects for food, beverage and processing businesses through Growing Forward 2 cost-shared funding assistance.
- Growing Forward 2 was launched in 2013 and is a five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada’s agri-food and agri-based products sector.
- Food and beverage manufacturing is one of the largest employers in Ontario, with more than 3,000 businesses employing 95,000 people across the province.
Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said: “Canada has a growing craft cider industry and Ontario is recognized as being a key player. This investment will support increased competitiveness in the craft cider sector in the province, which in turn benefits the Canadian economy.”