Ontario’s grape growers’ welcome $5 million disaster relief funding from the Provincial and Federal governments

June 22, 2023 (Niagara-on-the-Lake): Matthias Oppenlaender, Board Chair, Grape Growers of Ontario was pleased to receive the support following a difficult harvest of 2022.

AgriRecovery is a federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework intended to work together with the Business Risk Management programs under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help agricultural producers recover from natural disasters.

The 2022 harvest was among the most challenging for Ontario’s grape growers following a perfect storm of climatic events. A drought through August 2021 stressed the vines, followed by 49% more rain in September and October than the ten-year average. The vines were full of water, and a later-than-normal 2021 harvest and mild December meant that the vines did not acclimate fully for winter. This was followed by extremely cold temperatures through January, resulting in severe winter damage and vine loss, particularly in Niagara vineyards. Grape production was down 44% in 2022 reducing farm gate value by $49 million. Vine collapse and in some cases, complete removal of vineyards represent significant financial losses for growers regarding additional costs to manage the vineyard.

“Ontario’s grape growers thank Ministers Bibeau and Minister Thompson for their support in providing funds to assist growers,” said Matthias Oppenlaender, Chair of Grape Growers of Ontario. “This additional support will help growers recover some of the extraordinary costs associated with their 2022 losses as a result of the cold weather event.”

Program details, and the application process are expected within the next few weeks.

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For information contact:
Debbie Zimmerman, CEO                                    

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