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Wine Sector Support expands with $177M investment

March 6, 2024  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

On March 1, Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced an extension to the Wine Sector Support Program. With an investment of up to $177 million over the next three years, the program will continue to help the Canadian wine sector improve its competitiveness and adapt to the challenges it faces.

Canada’s wine sector is a key economic driver, providing business opportunities for grape growers and wine makers as well as jobs in rural communities across the country. While the industry has seen considerable growth over the past several years, it continues to face a range of pressures affecting its financial resilience and competitiveness, including input price increases, labour shortages, climate limitations and severe weather events.

Canada’s wine sector creates jobs, drives economic growth, and supports so many communities right across the country,” said MacAulay in a statement. “This extension of the Wine Sector Support Program will provide vitally important support to our wineries as they continue to innovate and adapt to challenges so the sector can stay strong and competitive for years to come.”

Originally launched in July 2022, the Wine Sector Support Program provides financial support to help licensed Canadian wineries adapt to ongoing and emerging challenges. This new funding will provide additional support to the wine sector, incentivizing investments that will help to capitalize on strengths and position it for long-term success. The additional funding brings the Government of Canada’s total investment through the program to more than $343 million.

In addition to this funding, MacAulay also announced two initiatives under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, both led by the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network, to advance science and research and increase the competitiveness of the sector. This includes up to $5.9 million under the AgriScience Program – Clusters Component for the Grape and Wine Cluster, as well as up to $836,220 under the AgriAssurance Program.

“The economic impact of Canada’s wine sector extends well beyond the vineyard, fostering job opportunities in agribusiness, food manufacturing, transportation, retail, tourism, and hospitality,” said Dan Paszkowski, president and CEO of Wine Growers Canada, in a press release. “The Wine Sector Support Program is not just an investment; it’s a strategic partnership yielding remarkable returns. Our wineries serve as drivers of sustainable rural economic growth, job creation, culinary tourism, and essential tax revenues.”

The overall objective of the Grape and Wine Cluster is to support research to help the sector adapt to the increasingly frequent extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change, as well as new pest and disease problems, both threats to the sustainability and resiliency of the Canadian grape and wine sector.

Funding under the AgriAssurance Program will support continued work to provide Canadian grape growers and wineries with the clean materials needed to plant certified virus-free grapevines in their vineyards, which will ensure the long-term success of the sector.

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