March 17, 2012 – PRESS RELEASE:
‘Ontario’s hopping’ – re-establishing a heritage crop inOntario
The re-emergence of commercial hop production in Ontario took a major step forward this past week with the formation of the Ontario Hop Grower’s Association.
Formed by a small, but growing, group of Ontario farmers – the Ontario Hop Growers Association (OHGA) is a non-profit association of hop growers, brewers, herbalists and enthusiasts interested in supporting the re-emergence of theOntario hop industry. Commercial hop production has been all but non-existent in Ontario since the 1920s. That trend is now changing due to a strong interest amongst the Ontario Craft Brewing Industry to produce a local, fresh all Ontario product. It is part of a national trend and a reflection of growing consumer & business awareness and interest in food sustainability.
The mission of the new organization is to act as a central voice for growers in Ontario; thus serve as an advocacy group recognized by the provincial government, brewers and related businesses. The OHGA will also promote hop-growing fundamentals through education, research, promotion, and marketing. Some of the early objectives include setting up a database of relevant growing information specific to Ontario, for things like pest and disease management. In addition to, working with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to make affordable Alpha Acidic Unit (AAU) testing available to growers inOntario.
The association was formed as an initiative by a network of 28 growers, both conventional and organic, from across the province. There are currently 20 acres of land in hop production in the Ontario, with another 10 acres planned for this year (2012). Most growers average an acre or less, but lager plantings of 3-5 acres occurred last year with more planned in 2012.
An elected five-member executive took over their official positions March 7, 2012. This new executive body will report back to OHGA members to finalize its constitution and take the
appropriate steps to incorporate.
For more information, please contact a member of the Ontario Hop Growers Association:
- President: Nicholas Schaut at 519-538-1026
- Vice President: Hugh Brown, Tel: 705-734-2846
- Secretary-Treasurer: Melanie Doerksen, Tel: 519-550-2433
- Director: Dai Matthews, Tel: 519-327-9615
- Director: Shane Eby, Tel: 905-977-0107
Or e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org.