Membership Services and Benefits

  • We negotiate minimum prices for each grape variety grown commercially and sold to processors. This creates a level playing field among buyers, who are assured of equality and fairness in a very price-competitive market.
     
  • We negotiate sugar standards for grapes and update them annually based on historical data.
     
  • We discuss critical industry issues – from grape growing to wine marketing –with the wineries and try to resolve any problems for the benefit of the entire industry.
     
  • We are continually working to expand the markets for Ontario grapes and wines, both domestically and internationally, and look for alternative uses for our products.
     
  • We collect and supply data regarding crop size, sugar levels, acreage and trends for and to the industry and government.
     
  • We communicate to growers about relevant industry issues and information.
     
  • We lobby government on behalf of growers and wineries, expressing our concerns, communicating our issues and proposing solutions.
     
  • We provide information to political leaders, media and the community about the importance of grape growing in Ontario.
     
  • Our staff pesticide specialist monitors pesticide issues as they relate to grape growing, and communicates regularly with the Canadian Pest Management Association to keep growers informed about the latest product information. Through our membership in the Ontario Agricultural Research Coalition, we help introduce new pesticides, both for emergency and full-time use.
     
  • We play an active membership role and have a director on the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management Systems (FARMS), which provides foreign agricultural workers for Ontario farms.
     
  • We play an active membership role and have a director on the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council. Through our involvement and sponsorship of this organization, Ontario growers can access the SDRM (Self-Directed Risk Management) program, through which the provincial government contributes to growers’ personal accounts with matching funds. This is a safety net program for growers. For more information click here.
     
  • Through our membership role and having a director on Agricorp, Ontario grape growers are eligible for crop insurance. This program is sponsored jointly by the federal and provincial governments, and lobbied for on behalf of the growers.
     
  • We sponsor and originate research programs, and work closely with provincial universities and colleges to advance studies and fund research in viticultural areas through Ontario Grape and Wine Research Inc.
     
  • We are a founding sponsor of NAWN (Niagara Agricultural Weather Network) which is now the Weather Innovations Incorporated (WIN). It provides a statistical data base on weather in the three Designated Viticulture Areas and is used by the VQAO to enforce harvest dates for Icewine grapes. In the future, this program may be used to predict potential pest, insect and disease problems.
     
  • We promote the industry through sponsorship of a number of activities throughout the year, and participate in the Industry Marketing Committee.
     
  • We are a founding member and founding sponsor of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival – a 62-year-old community celebration of the grape and wine industry. We continue to sponsor this event annually.
     
  • We sponsor the Grape Grower of the Year (Grape King) competition, which honours Ontario's outstanding grape grower who serves as ambassador for the industry throughout the year.
     
  • We continue to help sponsor other events, like the Ontario Wine Awards, Terroir Wine Festival, Lake Erie North Shore Wine Festival and numerous community events.
     
  • We sponsor VQAO in support of 100% Ontario wines. In the past, we have provided $150,000 for VQAO promotion. These funds essentially help keep the bottle charge that individual wineries must pay at a lower level and show Grape Growers of Ontario support for VQA wines and the monitoring/administrative system to keep it vital.