Hardeman and Barrett hold winery roundtable

For immediate release
November 9, 2012

ST. WILLIAMS – Today, Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Toby Barrett, MPP Haldimand- Norfolk held a roundtable to hear from local wineries about the challenges they are facing and what would help them grow their businesses.

“This roundtable is an opportunity for wineries to raise some important concerns and put forward constructive suggestions that will help strengthen the wine industry in Ontario,” said Hardeman. “The wineries in this region deserve to have their voice heard in regard to challenges they are facing with government policies and the LCBO.”

Attendees at the roundtable were from the South Coast Winery and Grower Association. The South Coast has been recognized as an important emerging wine region and includes wineries such as Burning Kiln, hosts of the roundtable and producers of the 2012 official wine of the Legislative Assembly.

“We want as much advice as possible to stand up for our local wineries because this growing industry can be a major contributor to our agri-tourism economy,” stated Barrett. “By having these talks, the Official Opposition wants to ensure the government and the LCBO is working to make our wineries more competitive.”

Hardeman recently released a survey of food processors, including wineries, which focuses on being competitive both locally and internationally, impact of current government policies and ways to strengthen the industry. For those who wish to participate the survey is available at www.ErnieHardemanMPP.com/processors. To request a copy please call 416-325-1239 or e-mail ernie.hardeman@pc.ola.org.

“The wine industry accounts for 7,000 jobs and more than $533 million in retail sales,” said Hardeman. “We need to ensure that government policies allow our wineries and all food processors to be successful here at home and allow them to compete around the world.”
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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239