BC Wine Grape Council 

The purpose of the BC Wine Grape Council is to coordinate, facilitate, and fund research and education on viticulture and enology to broadly benefit the British Columbia wine grape industry and to represent growers on a variety of agriculture related issues. Mission The mission of the BC Wine Grape Council is to promote the development of a strong and viable wine grape industry that will result in the production of world class wines and that will enhance the economic and environmental benefits to British Columbia.

History:

In 2006, the Wine Grape Industry supported the formation of the BC Wine Grape Council through a plebiscite that was approved with a majority 83% of participating growers located on the British Columbia Mainland.  The plebiscite was supported by the Minister of Agriculture and Lands, the Honourable Pat Bell, who took the motion to Cabinet for final approval; in turn creating the Council under the Farming & Fisheries Act of British Columbia.

Research

The purpose of the BC Wine Grape Council is to coordinate and facilitate research on viticulture and enology to broadly benefit the BC wine grape industry and to represent growers on a variety of agriculture related issues.

They facilitate research by leveraging funding provided by Federal and Provincial programs on behalf of industry members.  Programs that are actively engaged in include those supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) such as Growing Foward 2, the Agri-Innovation Program, and the AAFC Industry-led R&D Stream

Research priorities are reviewed and determined on an annual basis by the R&D Committee.  New, short-term (1-2 year), projects are reviewed each November by the R&D Project Review Committee, a sub-set of the R&D Committee comprised exclusively of Industry Members.  Funding comes available for these projects in April.  Projects may or may not leverage additional funding through organizations such as NSERC, MITACS, and the Investment Agriculture Foundation.

Multi-year projects facilitated under AAFC or similar programs are typically reviewed every 5 years and are coordinated through research institutions including the University of British Columbia and Summerland Research & Development Centre.

In the summer of 2017 it was announced that the  Province is providing over $628,000 to support a two-year pilot project for the viticulture technician diploma program at Okanagan College, developed in partnership with the BC Wine Grape Council.

The BC Wine Grape Council is a leader in Sustainability in Wine Growing

Sustainability is a broad topic that means different things to different people. A common definition of sustainability is “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Sustainability is more than just being environmentally-friendly; it integrates protection of the environment, profitability, and social issues. Sustainable wine growing reaches from “soil to shelf.”

Sustainable winegrowing is not only relevant for today, but also important for the future. Our Vision is to leave the land better than we found it – tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade, and next century.

 

Winesofcanada.com / Robert A Bell ~ bobbell@winesofcanada.com

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