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Provincial and Federal Governments Help Grow Ontario's Craft Cider Industry

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Provincial and Federal Governments Help Grow Ontario's Craft Cider Industry

Celebrate Cider Week with Ontario Craft Cider

The Ontario government and the government of Canada are investing in Ontario's craft cider industry to kick off Cider Week. The investment will help grow the sector by increasing market access and creating new economic opportunities for Ontario's craft cider producers.

The Ontario Craft Cider Association will receive up to $220,000 under the Growing Forward 2 initiative to:

  • Implement a study to assess 29 European apple varieties and their juice quality for local  craft cider production
  • Evaluate how cider cultivars perform in five distinct growing regions in the province
  • Create a benchmark for growers when establishing new orchards in these regions

This funding is part of nearly $400,000 in federal and provincial government support for Ontario cideries through Growing Forward 2 - a federal-provincial-territorial funding program that encourages innovation, competitiveness, market development, adaptability and industry sustainability in Canada's agri-food and agri-products sector.

Supporting cider producers is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • This year, Ontario Cider Week runs from May 27 to June 4.
  • With sales rising by 89 per cent per year from 2011 to 2015, Ontario craft cider is one of the fastest-growing sales categories through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) stores.
  • This investment will help 19 Ontario craft cideries to be more competitive and expand their markets. Through growing European varieties of apples in Ontario, they will be able to compete with the more established European cider imports.
  • Since 2013, the governments of Ontario and Canada have committed more than $39 million to more than 750 projects for food, beverage and processing businesses through Growing Forward 2 cost-shared funding assistance.
  • Growing Forward 2 was launched in 2013 and is a five-year commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-based products sector.
  • Food and beverage manufacturing is one of the largest employers in Ontario, with more than 3,000 businesses employing 95,000 people across the province.

Additional Resources


“Canada has a growing craft cider industry and Ontario is recognized as being a key player. This investment will support increased competitiveness in the craft cider sector in the province, which in turn benefits the Canadian economy.”

Lawrence MacAulay

Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“This Cider Week, I encourage people in Ontario to sample one of over 50 craft ciders produced by Ontario’s exceptional cideries. Our government is supporting this growing sector through these investments to ensure it continues to expand, increasing market access and ability to meet consumer needs, and creating new jobs.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“The entire Ontario cider value-chain – from apple growers, to cider makers, to the end consumer – will benefit from an improved cider industry. The Ontario Craft Cider Association has accessed GF2 funding to strengthen the organization’s market expansion efforts by undertaking research that will allow the industry to produce a local premium craft cider from traditional European apple varieties that are grown in Ontario.”

Judy Dirksen

Chair, Agricultural Adaptation Council

“This research project will provide cider makers with information and experience they need to produce high-quality local cider. The Ontario Craft Cider Association welcomes the federal and provincial governments’ support to implement a study that will build on our vision to develop and maintain a competitive and growing sector.”

Thomas Wilson

Chair, Ontario Craft Cider Association

Media Contacts

  • Christina Crowley-Arklie

    OMAFRA, The Office of the Honourable Jeff Leal


  • Bianca Jamieson

    OMAFRA, Communications Branch


  • Guy Gallant

    Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay




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