Opportunity for Growth for Ontario Craft Cider

TORONTO, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA) applauds the program announced by the Government of Ontario on December 16 that will allow VQA wines to be sold at farmers' markets. This program will expand the market for a segment of Ontario wines and is long overdue. OCCA members are also looking forward to working with the Government of Ontario to provide some of the world's best ciders, made with 100% Ontario apples, to farmers' market customers that already appreciate buying local.

"Apples are bountiful at farmers' markets throughout Ontario, making craft cider a natural fit for this distribution channel. OCCA members proudly produce craft ciders made exclusively with Ontario apple and we look forward to developing a strong partnership with the Government and building a world-class cider industry in Ontario," said Nick Sutcliffe, Chair, OCCA.

For further information on Ontario's Craft Cider market, please see "Economic Impact Study for Ontario Hard Cider Industry".

Key Facts:

  • Cider is the fastest growing alcohol segment in Ontario (60% year-over-year growth the last two years), but unfortunately much of this growth is coming from imported products. A research study conducted by The George Morris Centre projected that Ontario craft ciders have the potential to be a $35-million industry in rural Ontario by 2018.

  • Ontario Craft Cider Association members use only Ontario apples and pears, contributing significantly to the provinces agricultural sector. This growing industry is adding significant jobs and dollars through tourism as well as the manufacturing sector. It is also a green and sustainable industry.

  • Changes to the legislation governing cider production have not kept pace with the growth of the industry. Cider producers are not eligible for the benefits currently received by the VQA and the craft brewers, which have allowed them to develop strong and competitive industries.

  • Simple fact: Ontario apples grow across southern Ontario along the shores of large bodies of water (Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Georgian Bay). There are currently 15,650 acres producing apples in Ontario with an approximate farm gate value of $65,000,000.

Find us online at www.ontariocraftcider.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Ontario-Craft-Cider-Association and on Twitter @OntCraftCider.

SOURCE Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA)

For further information:

For sampling, questions or to speak with a spokesperson, please contact:
Lindsay Sutcliffe
Ontario Craft Cider Association
lsutcliffe@southerncliff.com
416.201.2101