Image courtesy of the OCCA.

Cideries To Benefit From Provincial Support

The Ontario Craft Cider Association is getting some support from the province.

Yesterday, Provincial Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal unveiled the Ontario Small Cidery Support Program, which has been designed to help small cider producers increase capacity and hire more staff.

Eligible cideries will be given up to 74 cents a litre to grow their businesses, to a maximum of $220,000 per year.

OCCA Chair Thomas Wilson says the announcement is tremendous news not only for Ontario’s 43 cider operations, but also the 230 apple growers who supply the fruit.

He adds it’s a great day for craft cider makers as they join the ranks of beer and wine producers as a provincially recognized industry.

The association notes all its members are required to use 100 per cent Ontario apples for their cider, so the economic effect of growing the industry will be spread throughout the province.

Cider sales from the 2015-2016 season increased by 54 per cent from the previous year.