TORONTO, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA) applauds the program announced by the provincial government today that provides Ontario Craft Beer greater sales channels to reach Ontario consumers. While this is a positive step forward for craft brewers, Ontario Craft Cider is asking not to be left behind.
"Cider is one of the fastest growing categories of alcohol in the LCBO and Ontario Craft Cider is a major part of that growth. But while Ontario Cider is sold like a beer, it is regulated as a non-VQA wine, which makes it too easy to be forgotten. We have asked the province for equal footing with Ontario Craft Beer and VQA, which have both been incubated by provincial programs to grow their industries," said Thomas Wilson, Chair OCCA. "We have been consulting with the government and the Asset Review Council and are expecting to hear how the upcoming provincial budget and final ARC Report will address this oversight."
"We fully support a thriving Ontario craft cider industry and are excited about the opportunities," said Charles Stevens, Chair of the Ontario Apple Growers. "Ontario apple farmers provide the apples to Ontario's cider makers. We envision that the forecasted growth in the craft cider industry will result in additional acres of apples planted. This is good for Ontarians on many fronts including increased rural economic development, increased export potential and environmental opportunities such as an increase in bee nutrition and habitat," said Stevens.
- Cider sales in LCBO are currently 80% imported (2014)
- Ontario has the largest apple industry in Canada
- Ontario cideries currently employee over 225 people, a number which does not include indirect jobs related to the industry and agriculture
- Ontario craft cider is produced from the juice of 100 percent Ontario apples
- Ontario cider producers represent a new and increasing demand for Ontario grown apples
- Ontario craft cider be a major component of the Premier's rural economic development challenge
About the Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA):
The Ontario Craft Cider Association is an association of over 22 cider producers in Ontario. The OCCA's mission is to ensure that Ontario is recognized as a centre for cider excellence and innovation. Ontario craft cider producers use only 100 percent juice from Ontario apples and bring many benefits to all of rural Ontario, from Windsor to Ottawa, Collingwood to Prince Edward County and everywhere in between. Ontario is the ideal place to grow apples. Find us online at www.ontariocraftcider.com
SOURCE Ontario Craft Cider Association
For further information: To speak with a spokesperson, please contact: Lindsay Sutcliffe, Ontario Craft Cider Association, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416.201.2101