The Canadian Grapevine Certification Network, a consortium of grape and wine-producing organizations from across the country, has received $8.4 million in funds to improve crop protection, test new wine varieties, and make grape production more environmentally sustainable.
Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced the funding July 5 under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Clusters.
This is the first time grape and wine producing organizations from across the country have come together, as the CGCN, to develop a national research cluster.
Canada’s wine sector generated revenues of $1.2 billion in 2016 and employs more than 5,600 people.
The research investment, which includes up to an additional $3.7 million from industry contributions, is in addition to additional investment of $1.5 million over three years to the the Canadian Vintner’s Association under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriMarketing program.
The funding will assist the industry in activities such as participation in trade shows, missions, and promotions in traditional markets, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, as well as CVA’s participation at international trade advocacy events.
The Vintner’s Association recent completed a $1.5 million project under the Growing Forward 2 AgriMarketing program, which helped launch the Wines of Canada brand.
MacAulay said he was thrilled to be supporting the first ever grape and wine cluster.
“Our domestic grape and wine sector has had a positive impact on Canada’s economy, and it continues to grow,” he said.
“Today’s announcement will help increase the market share of Canadian wines by supporting research that improves wine quality and vineyard management practices, addresses challenges faced by the sector, and build upon Canada’s international reputation as a top cool-climate wine producer.”
Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario said getting the sector together under an umbrella group took time and effort.
“Today’s announcement and investment in the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network for Canada’s grape growing industry comes after many years of hard work and collaboration,” he said.
“The Grape Growers of Ontario are pleased to be working alongside our partners in Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia and with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to create a domestic supply of clean rootstock which is critical to the future of Canada’s grape growing industry.”