Using a local cider company as his backdrop, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal announced Ontario is making it easier for craft cider and fruit wine producers to grow their business at farmers’ markets across the province.
On Thursday, Leal made the announcement at the Empire Cider Company in Codrington touting how this initiative has allowed owners Jenny and Chris McRea to double retail sales since the company began selling at Northumberland County farmers’ markets earlier this year.
Chris McCrea said when he and his wife began pressing apples back in 2014 they had no intention of large production or selling at the LCBO. “It just wasn’t in the cards for us,” he explained. ”
By expanding the sale of local cider and fruit wine at farmers’ markets, we are providing our farmers and producers with exposure to reach consumers, while stimulating the economies of local communities across Ontario,” beamed Minister Leal.
Leal also invited the community to join him in celebrating Agriculture Week by buying and supporting Ontario-grown produce and beverages from local farmers’ markets to enjoy with family and friends at Thanksgiving.
Northumberland Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi, Brighton Mayor Mark Walas, Grant Howes of the County Cider Company and representatives from the Ontario Craft Cider Association were also on hand for the announcement.