ON THE FARM: Will 2014 bring grape freedom?

Glenn
Glenn Ells
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Happy New Year!

I’ve been sitting at my desk for more than an hour thinking of the year and years (hopefully) ahead. What will happen in our future is hard to predict and, at best, is a wild guess.

 Last year, our family decided to entre the grape growing sector of my favourite industry. We planted some cuttings, which did well, and have plans to keep planting for the next three years – unless we run out of money before then. Our son Stephen and his family are the movers, shakers and investors in the venture, but I now read anything that comes along about this fascinating part of agriculture.

This morning, I was reading an article about international trade. In the article, it  was pointed out that, when the “free trade” deal with Europe comes into effect, the wine producers in that part of the world will have easier access to the major markets in Canada than Nova Scotia wind producers .This is because if interprovincial trade barriers. It seems kind of crazy to make free trade deals with other countries if this country can’t establish free trade within its own borders. I know it is hard to change these trade barriers maintained by provinces. Maybe we should see some signs that there’s a will to make all markets in our country as open to producers in all parts of our country as they are to producers in other countries. Seems reasonable!

Maybe we should see some signs that there’s a will to make all markets in our country as open to producers in all parts of our country as they are to producers in other countries.

It would have been considered hopeful dreaming 20 years ago if someone suggested Nova Scotia wines could consistently win international competitions. Most of the “current wisdom” then was that we couldn’t grow high quality grapes here. That hopeful dream is now a reality. We have a very popular signature wine from this province now: Tidal Bay wine is being made from local grapes by close to a  dozen of our wineries this year and sales are very good. It seems to me that wine should compete on the quality basis and not have to contend with interprovincial hurdles that seem outdated and are unfair.

Maybe it will be easier to export to Paris than to sell in Toronto and Montreal when freer trade beings. I’m sure that some of our wineries are looking at that. We growers of grapes just hope the demand for the fruits of our labours remain strong and most of us are making bets it will by continuing to establish vineyards.

Organizations: THE FARM

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Europe, Canada Tidal Bay Paris Toronto Montreal

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