Taking action to support craft beverage in Haldimand-Norfolk

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 27, 2019  

SIMCOE – The Ontario Government is supporting small wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries, strengthening the province’s craft beverage sector to ensure it can continue to grow and meet consumer demand.

Toby Barrett, MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk, welcomed the announcement of over $15 million in funding to help small wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries with key business decisions and planning while the government continues to conduct its review of the beverage alcohol sector.

This transition funding will extend support for another year to the following initiatives:

  • to help provide eligible businesses with support to grow and scale up their operations.
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Barrett also shared that the government is proposing further changes to cut red tape for the sector that would make it easier for businesses in the alcohol beverage sector to market their products: 

These changes reflect the government’s commitment to improving choice and convenience for consumers, creating more opportunities for businesses, and reducing regulatory burden on alcohol producers in the province.

Additionally, these improvements are part of Ontario’s Open for Business approach that focus on support to help grow the industry, including the wine and grape sector and the fast-growing craft beer, cider and distillery sectors.

“Ontario’s South Coast is the province’s next wine region and this funding should assist local vinters,” Barrett said. “Craft beer is also a growing industry with a half-dozen breweries popping up in the last few years. Combined, the two industries have added to the tourism industry.”

“Our government’s priority is to make Ontario more competitive, and this includes strengthening the craft producers’ sector,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “By delivering these transition programs, we are recognizing the urgent needs of the industry and helping small and medium-sized wineries, cideries and distilleries scale up, drive tourism, and increase demand for quality Ontario grapes, apples and grains.”

Quick Facts

  • The wine and grape sector contributes $515 million to Ontario’s GDP and supports more than 9,000 direct jobs.
  • Grape production from almost 500 Ontario growers is used to make award-winning Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) wines, which had $374 million in sales in 2018-19.
  • Recently, Ken Hughes, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance for the Beverage Alcohol Review, released a report detailing the inconvenience and unfairness of the current beverage alcohol system for everyday Ontario consumers. A key recommendation was to promote competition, establish fairness for everyone and provide new economic opportunities for businesses across the province.

Additional Resources

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For more information contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]