Harper Government Invests to Improve Quality of B.C. Grape and Wine Sector
LAKE COUNTRY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 22, 2014) -Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canada's wine and grape sector has gained support in its efforts to become more competitive and sustainable with a $2 million investment from the Harper Government, Member of Parliament Ron Cannan (Kelowna-Lake Country) announced today, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.
With this investment from AAFC's AgriInnovation Program, the British Columbia Wine Grape Council (BCWGC) will be able to better compete on domestic and international markets, meet evolving consumer demands and tastes and boost producers' bottom line by improving quality and yields, while reducing losses from pests and diseases.
This investment builds on previous support of $2 million provided to BCWGC under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative, for a project to help improve irrigation and nutrient management to achieve the highest vine and fruit quality.
The BCWGC was established in 2006 to facilitate research that benefits the wine grape industry and to represent growers.
B.C. wine industry sales bring over $54M to the farm gate and generate exports of almost $8M - which is an increase of over $6M in the past six years.
Scientists from AAFC's Pacific Agri-Food Centre (PARC) in Summerland, B.C., are working alongside the viticulture industry to continually raise the bar on wine quality.
The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework, and is designed to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting research and development activities in agri-innovations.
"The grape and wine sector is an important part of our economy in my riding of Kelowna-Lake Country and across Canada. Improving wine grape quality as well as controlling pests will boost the sector's competitiveness and exporter profitability."
- Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament (Kelowna-Lake Country)
"We are thrilled to receive funding through the AgriInnovation Program. This investment allows the B.C. wine industry to work closely with scientists at PARC, the University of B.C. (UBC), and UBC Okanagan to develop research programs where the results can be directly transferred to viticulturists and winemakers. This work will have a positive impact on the quality of wine produced, as well as the profitability and sustainability of our industry."