Governments Helping Grape Growers and Beekeepers Strengthen Their Businesses
Canada and Ontario investing up to $10 million to support sectors hit by extraordinary weather conditions
June 22, 2023
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
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TORONTO – The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $10 million through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help the grape growing and beekeeping sectors offset extraordinary costs caused by significant grapevine and bee colony losses due to extreme weather conditions in 2021-22.
Two new AgriRecovery initiatives will provide up to $5 million for eligible grape growers and up to $5 million for eligible commercial beekeepers.
“Resuming operations after disaster events can present extraordinary costs for beekeepers and grape growers,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “These initiatives will help to mitigate the impacts of these unanticipated occurrences so that these producers can recover and thrive.”
This July, eligible Ontario grape growers can apply for financial support under the Canada-Ontario Grapevine Winter Injury Initiative (2021-2022) to help recover from significant vine damage and loss. The damage resulted from a series of severe weather events including periods of drought, heavy rains and extreme cold, from summer 2021 to winter 2022. The initiative will provide funding for up to 70 per cent of the costs of replacing or renewing grapevines lost or damaged during the defined period.
“These new AgriRecovery initiatives are welcome news for both sectors and will help our grape growers and beekeepers recover from these extraordinary events that occurred beyond their control,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This action is an example of our government’s commitment to ensuring our agriculture and agri-food sector has the tools to be successful, even in instances where industry depends on the elements to thrive.”
Supports for beekeepers will offset extraordinary costs caused by abnormal conditions during the 2021-22 winter, including severe weather and varroa mite damage. This July, eligible Ontario beekeepers can apply for financial support through the Canada-Ontario Overwinter Bee Colony Loss Replacement Initiative (2021-2022) to manage increased bee colony losses that occurred over the 2021-22 season. Eligible beekeepers will receive up to 70 per cent of the high cost of purchasing bee colonies to replace those impacted during the defined time period.
These initiatives will be delivered by Agricorp. The agency delivers business risk management programming in Ontario. AgriRecovery initiatives help offset extraordinary costs producers incur to recover from disasters outside of their control but which are necessary to mitigate the impacts and/or resume farming operations as quickly as possible.
“Beekeepers and grape growers are key contributors to Ontario’s thriving agriculture industry,” said Vance Badawey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre. “AgriRecovery can help growers alleviate unforeseen costs out of their control, so they can continue to deliver high value to the sector.”
AgriRecovery is a federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework to help agricultural producers with the extraordinary costs associated with recovering from abnormal conditions or disaster situations. The initiatives are cost-shared on a 60:40 basis between the federal government and participating provinces or territories, as outlined under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP).
- In 2021, Ontario grape growers harvested 17,770 acres and marketed around 82,000 metric tonnes of grapes, worth more than $111 million in farm cash receipts. According to the 2021 census of agriculture, there are more than 600 grape farms in Ontario.
- In 2021, Ontario accounted for 25 per cent of beekeepers in Canada, with about 13 per cent of the colonies, and seven per cent of the honey production.
- Parasitic varroa mites are considered to be the primary cause of winter mortality for beekeeping in North America, including Ontario.
- All farmers are encouraged to participate in Business Risk Management programs to support their farm businesses during difficult times. Farmers should contact Agricorp for more information about specific program options.
The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Grape Growers of Ontario
Ontario Beekeepers’ Association