Ontario Government helping promote VQA wines in Metro grocery stores

October 6, 2017: Toronto – To cap off Ontario Agriculture Week celebrations, MPP for Beaches-East York Arthur Potts announced that the Ontario government is providing the Grape Growers of Ontario with $20,000 in funding to implement their “We Grow the Wines You Love” campaign.

The campaign will promote the availability of VQA wines, made with 100% Ontario grapes, and highlight the importance of buying local at 10 Metro retail store locations across the province.  Along with promotional displays, Doug Whitty, this year’s Grape King, will engage shoppers with in-store sampling and tips on wine and food pairings.

The Grape Growers of Ontario is one of nineteen local food projects across the province that will receive nearly $500,000 in new investments through the provinces Local Food Investment Fund, administered by the Greenbelt Fund.

Pictured (L to R): Dave Dinning, Sr Director Operations Metro; Andy King, District Manager; John Crisafulli, Store Manager, Metro Danforth Ave; Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario; Burkhard Mausberg, Greenbelt Fund; Arthur Potts, MPP Beaches-East York; Doug Whitty, 2017 Grape King.

“By making VQA wines available for purchase in Metro grocery stores across the province, we are making it easier for consumers to access world-class wines grown right here in Ontario. The Grape Growers of Ontario are a great reminder of the faces and hard work behind each bottle of wine in Ontario,” said Arthur Potts, MPP for Beaches-East York.

“Our government is committed to supporting the continued growth and prosperity of Ontario’s wine industry. By helping expand VQA wine sales in Ontario, we are not only supporting our world-class wine producers, but supporting good jobs across the province,” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

"Choosing local wine is a delicious way to support Ontario’s agricultural sector and taste grapes from over 17,000 acres of Ontario vineyards,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “We are proud to invest in the Grape Growers, helping them spread the message of ‘local’ across the province. I encourage Ontarians to choose local wines as we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend.”

“The Grape Growers of Ontario appreciate the support from the Greenbelt Fund, and the Government of Ontario, to assist in continuing the ‘We Grow the Wines You Love’ campaign. We are excited to engage and educate consumers about the significant impact they make to the local economy when they purchase wine made from 100% Ontario-grown grapes,” said Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario.

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About the Local Food Investment Fund:

The Local Food Investment Fund supports farmers, agri-food business and non-profits to get more local food on Ontario plates. Since 2015, the Ontario government has provided the Greenbelt Fund with $7 million over three years to support initiatives that will help support the province’s local food strategy by enhancing consumer awareness and access to local food, as well as generating demand and supply of Ontario foods and beverages. The investment supports initiatives such as the Local Food Investment Fund, which is a grant program for farmers and other businesses along the agri-food value chain, broader public sector institutions, and not-for-profits working to increase the amount of Ontario-grown and processed foods purchased and enjoyed across the province. The Local Food Investment Fund's three grant streams focus on enhancing local food literacy, increasing market access for small and mid-size Ontario farmers and processors and increasing purchases of local food in the broader public sector, such as hospitals and universities.

About the Greenbelt Fund:

The Greenbelt Fund changes the way we eat food in Ontario through innovative investments that get more local food onto the plates of Ontarians. We work with businesses, institutions and NGOs to make Ontario’s farmers the first choice for consumers. The fund’s work has generated a 13-fold return on our investments, permanently changed the food value chain and improved local food awareness and education around the province. As a not-for-profit, the Greenbelt Fund is supported by public and private sources.

Contact for Greenbelt Fund:

Erica Woods
Communications Manager
Greenbelt Fund
Phone: (416) 960-0001 ext. 306
Mobile: (647) 834-5657
ewoods@greenbeltfund.ca