TORONTO, March 7, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA) welcomed the announcement of the Ontario Small Cidery Support Program today, made by Ontario Finance Minister the Hon. Charles Sousa and Ontario Agriculture Minister the Hon. Jeff Leal. The program will help independent, small Ontario cider producers increase capacity and hire more staff which in turn will introduce more consumers to Ontario craft cider.
Eligible cideries will receive up to 74 cents per litre on eligible sales – to a maximum of $220,000 per year per producer. In 2015-2016, LCBO sales of craft ciders grew 54 percent, over the previous year. "This is tremendous news, not just for the 27 Ontario craft cider makers who are members of the OCCA; but all 43 cider producing operations in Ontario and the 230 Ontario Apple Growers who supply the fruit used to make Ontario's new favourite drink," said Thomas Wilson, Chair OCCA. Members of the Ontario Craft Cider Association are required to use only 100% Ontario apples for their cider so the program will ultimately result in more apple trees in the ground and increased rural economic activity from farm to glass.
"It is a great day when Ontario craft cider makers join the ranks of beer and wine producers as a provincially recognized industry. With this much needed program our members will be able to invest in equipment, employees, and supplies to continue developing our industry potential here in Ontario," said Wilson. "As Chair of the Ontario Craft Cider Association I would like to thank Premier Wynne, the Hon. Charles Sousa and the Hon. Jeff Leal for the new Ontario Small Cidery Support Program. This is a great step to growing our world class cider industry in Ontario and we look forward to continued co-operation and partnership in the years to come".
Ontario Craft Cider Association – Key Stats
- 27 Members
- Ontario craft cider producers produced approximately 2.1 million litres (21,000 hectolitres) of craft cider in 2015.
- Approximately 107 full-time employees in 2015
- Total sales generated by craft cider producers in Ontario were approximately $12.3 million in 2015.
About the Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA):
The Ontario Craft Cider Association is an association of 27 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: Suzanne vanBommel, Ontario Craft Cider Association, [email protected], 647-309-0015