Wine on Tap The Economy of Wine Ground Pests
Summer 2013 $6.95
Display Until July 15, 2013 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40838008 www.orchardandvine.net
As if anyone wants sour grapes.
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Always read and follow label directions. Alion® is a registered trademark of the Bayer Group. Bayer CropScience is a member of CropLife Canada.
Vancouver Urban Winery introduced the new approach to selling wine by the glass to B.C. – wine in kegs and available on tap. Page 21
Features 21 Fresh Taps
Bosagrape – All the Stores you'll ever need
The Economy of Wine
Cover Photo: Saskatchewan visitor Shelley Weinberger enjoys a moment in the Vineyard at Quail's Gate Estate Winery, photo by Kim Elsasser, kimsphotography.com.
Photo by © Ye Liew | Dreamstime.com
28 Pouring New Life into the Beverage Industry
Regulars Publisher's View – Lisa Olson
News & Events
Seasonal Love – Shawnee Love
Legal Libations – Denese Espeut-Post
Money Talks – Steve Funk
The Wild Things – Margaret Holm
Editor’s View – Devon Brooks
Photo Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna
Tourism Kelowna launched its Farm-to-Table program to highlight the importance of agri-tourism and locally sourced food to the region’s economy. Page 20
PUBLISHER’S VIEW | LISA OLSON
Vol. 54, No 23 Summer 2013
Established in 1959
e’ve been hearing a lot lately on how important it is to tell your story to prospective customers. These stories make an impact on buyers because they’re interesting and they gain a personal connection with you, one that lasts and keep them coming back again.
Publisher Lisa Olson Editor Devon Brooks Graphic Design
I still remember a lesson I learned at a fruit stand eating my first fresh Okanagan peach. I was taught how to lean forward before biting into this peach so that all the juice from the bite would drip on the ground instead of on my shirt. I remember the exact taste of that peach, it was so sweet and juicy. That was over 10 years ago and I still stop at that fruit stand whenever I pass by. I have had delicious peaches since, but somehow that incident always sticks in my mind. So, here’s a start of the season reminder to tell your stories, tell lots! You likely have many over the years, it doesn’t always have to be the same great story of how you got started on the farm or that you are the 3rd or 4th generation farmer on the land. There are other stories, for example, when a customer is picking up a basket of berries, let them know why you decided to plant that variety or even a small comment on how it’s such a great eating variety, which usually sells me! It doesn’t take much and customers may not know as much as you do, they are depending
Stephanie Symons Contributors Michael Botner, Devon Brooks, Kim Elsasser, Photo by Kim Elsasser
Denese Espeut-Post, Margaret Holm, Shawnee Love, Geoffrey McIntyre, Darcy Nybo, Ronda Payne Sales & Marketing
on you, the professional to help them out. They want help on choosing and having a memorable experience as well!
Another idea is to read the weather, so on a hot day you can offer a quick recipe to make an icy cold blended beverage. Then slip a prepared note into their bag to highlight your stories when you are too busy to make memories.
Orchard & Vine Magazine 1576 West Kelowna Road West Kelowna, B.C., V1Z 3H5 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember your title this year is Chief Grower Marketer and Associate Memory Maker.
www.orchardandvine.net Phone: 250-769-2123
Have a happy prosperous season!
Enjoy the magazine.
Orchard & Vine Magazine is published six times a year and distributed by addressed direct mail to growers, suppliers and wineries in the Okanagan, Kootenays, Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Washington State and throughout Canada. Orchard & Vine is also available online. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40838008 Undeliverable copies should be sent to:
Providing Canadian Grapevine Solutions BRITISH COLUMBIA Frank Whitehead p. 250-762-9845 c. 250-878-3656 email@example.com
ONTARIO Wes Wiens/Tina Tourigny p. 905-984-4324 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
NOVA SCOTIA Michael Lightfoot p. 902-542-1571 c. 902-698-6909 firstname.lastname@example.org
1576 West Kelowna Road West Kelowna, BC, V1Z 3H5
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SUMMER | CALENDAR introduces the ALL NATURAL premium tannins from FRANCE
Tannin from grape seed for use during vinification for red colour stabilization.. It is added to the must
more tannin structure
Tannin from grape seed for use after racking or malolactic fermentation to help protect against oxidation during aging and aids in protein stabilization Tannin from grape seed adds more tannin structure to the mid palate to achieve an optimal phenolic balance. Can be added up to three weeks prior to bottling. White grape skin tannin brings a soft, complete and well balanced character for optimal phenolic balance and roundness. Can be added up to three weeks prior to bottling.
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Summer Okanagan Wine Festival July 6 - 14 Various Locations www.thewinefestivals.com
14th Annual BC Enology & Viticulture Conference July 15 - 16 Penticton Convention Centre Penticton, B.C. www.bcwgc.org
Canadian Vintners Association AGM July 23- 24 Niagara, O.N.
Naramata Bench Winery Tailgate Party
Providing bottling for runs ranging from
September 7 Naramata, B.C. www.naramatabench.com/
a few hundred cases to the thousands.
Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival Sept 7 – 15 Various locations, Cowichan, B.C. www.wines.cowichan.net
British Columbia Grapegrowers’ Association A Celebration of Harvest
RR1, S11, C60, Naramata, B.C., V0H 1N0 p. 2 5 0 . 4 9 0 . 5 5 8 3 f. 2 5 0 . 4 9 6 . 5 5 0 5 e. Information@artusbottling.com 8
September 12 4pm Thee Vineglass Vineyard 306 Sumac Road Cawston, B.C. For more info email: email@example.com
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference returns to Penticton The biggest and most important wine making learning event of the year in British Columbia is the Annual Enology and Viticulture Conference and Tradeshow at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
The two-day conference breaks down into two parts. The first part, on viticulture, focuses on understanding soils, vineyard temperature assessments, virus diseases for vines and research from the BC Wine Grape Council.
This year, the 14th annual event, happens on July 15 to 16.
The second part on enology deals with many of the specialized and technical issues like enzyme use, a hands-on pump repair workshop, filtration and flotation for clarification.
Hans Buchler, chairman of the BC Wine Grape Council, says, “This conference and tradeshow provides many opportunities for grapegrowers, winemakers, experienced or new to the industry to learn the newest technologies and practices.”
There will also be helpful tips on marketing and practical business issues.
Speakers and visitors from France and the U.S. will join local experts to give advice and informatiion. One such speaker is Patrick Vuchot from Inter-Rhone who will talk on Rhone varietals. Another is a Washington winemaker who also specializes in Rhone grapes. The tradeshow will be back with more than a hundred exhibitors to show off the latest and greatest in vineyard and wine making tools and techniques. For more details on the agenda and ticket pricing go to www.bcwgc.org. ■
Lowery Receives Once In A Lifetime Honour Dr. Tom Lowery, an entomologist at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in Summerland, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal “in recognition of his leadership in integrated and sustainable pest management for grapes and his contributions to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) National Plum Pox Virus Program.”
In his work, Dr. Lowery used ground cover vegetation to reduce pests, enhancing the population of beneficial insects and the use of natural diseases to keep insect pest populations under control. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was commemorated to honour the Queen and the achievements of many significant Canadians. 10 Summer 2013
Some of his work was on finding pesticides that had very specific actions to minimize their effect on other parts of
Other parts of Dr. Lowery’s research focused on using non-chemical methods to manage mite and insect pests of grapevines, thereby allowing a reduction in the use of chemicals in the Okanagan’s wine region. Dr. Kenna Mackenzie (left), director of operations at PARC, next to Dr. Tom Lowery, wearing his Diamond Jubilee Medal.
the environment or on reducing the effects of pathogens some insects carry that damage the grape vines. Hans Buchler, chair of the BC Wine Grape Council, says, “Tom Lowery has spearheaded and supported the move to more environmentally sus-
tainable solutions in the field of pest control.” The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to honour both the Queen’s sixtieth year on the throne and significant contributions and achievements of Canadians. ■
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
BC Wine Grape Council
14th Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference & Trade Show Monday, July 15 & Tuesday, July 16, 2013 Penticton Trade Show & Convention Centre
The Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference & Tradeshow is a premier wine industry event which brings hundreds of wine and grape industry professionals together to discover new products and services, to learn about the latest technologies and research, as well as to network. Township 7 Winery - June 16: Artisan bacon, British Columbian wine, dad, and puppies. Need we say more? Township 7 Vineyards and Winery is delighted to partner with Beast & Brine Local Provisions on a uniquely Canadian themed Father’s Day charity event at their south Langley winery. Beast & Brine Chef Ryan Bissell will be in the vineyard cooking up a sizzling afternoon of local bacon paired with Township 7’s outstanding wines. Bourbon bacon donuts by Cartems Donuterie tops off the tastings. All in support of the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society. “Pancetta, Prosciutto, Candied Bacon, Back Bacon, Lamb Bacon, Heritage Bacon and our wine for a good cause? You had me at the bacon,” said Mike Raffan, proprietor Township 7 Vineyards & Winery. For over 25 years PADS dogs have changed lives. The non-profit Society trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities and supports their client/dog teams for the working life of the PADS’ dog. www. pads.ca Entry is only $15 in support of PADS at Township 7 Vineyards & Winery. Tickets available online at store.township7.com or call 604.532.1766.■
Highlights Rhone Research for winemakers in France – Patrick Vuchot, Inter-Rhone, France The Self-Sustainable Winery – Anita Oberholster, PhD, UC Davis Extension Marketing BC wine in today’s sales climate – Scott Davis, Kelowna, BC Assessing Vineyard Temperatures: Inversion Conditions, Wind Machine Performance, and Vine Training Height Considerations – Mark Battany, University of California Farm Advisor, San Luis Obispo, CA Updates on Grapevine Virus Diseases – Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih, University of California, Davis, CA Using Soil and Climate Data in Vineyard Development – Dr. Daniel Roberts, Integrated Winegrowing, Sebastopol, CA Rhones Variety Sensory tastings, health and safety, panels and workshops, PAC points… Complete agenda available at www.bcwgc.org
Visit the Tradeshow – Over 100 exhibitor floor displays Sponsored by
For more information contact BC Wine Grape Council Tel: (250) 767-2534 E-mail: BCWGC@telus.net or visit: www.bcwgc.org
Summer 2013 11
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
Number One VQA Store Expands By Devon Brooks Discover Wines in Kelowna is the number one VQA store in the province, measured by sales. Owner Tracy Gray hopes that she can turn her purchase of another VQA license, which she has moved to Kamloops, into B.C.’s number two store. In addition to the Kamloops opening, 2013 is the tenth anniversary of Discover Wines and Gray reflected on the wine business. There are only 21 licenses for VQA stores in the province and there are unlikely to be any more. Gray explains, “The limit on the number of VQA wineries is part of the NAFTA agreement.” The VQA licenses were a form of protectionism.
When Gray and her former business partner, Suzanne Mick, first opened the doors in 2003 stocking options were much more limited. Gray says, “Ten years ago if someone came in, we’d take what they had, but now we’ll sample their wines and we’ll take the wines we think will do the best. We look for something different or unique. If you’re a new winery it’s hard to find something that will make your Pinot Noir stand out when I have 30 more on the shelves.” In 2002 there were 74 wineries in the province; as of 2012 there were 214. While they are not all VQA compliant, there has been a huge growth in VQA wineries, which now number 132. Comments Gray, “It’s better now because there’s so much more wine and B.C. wine is so much higher in quality.” Gray feels the good news about the expansion of wineries is not just because of a wider selection. 12 Summer 2013
Owner Tracy Gray next to the wines in her store – the layout and selection of wines at her new Kamloops store is virtually identical to the Kelowna operation.
In 2006 bad weather took a huge toll on grape crop yields. Fewer quality grapes meant less production and Discover Wines had a tough time just getting enough stock Gray recalls. Now, unless a terrible season hit the entire south half of the province from Vancouver Island to Creston, from the border to Kamloops, there will always be quality wines to pick from. The Kamloops’ wineries, of which Discover has already received demand for Harper’s Trail, is a fairly recent example of the expansion. It also doesn’t hurt Discover’s Kamloops opening to have a homegrown team player in the mix. “People there are already asking for Harper’s Trail,” she smiles. With the Kelowna store already number one in sales Gray says it is close to the ceiling. “To grow this business, we’ve gone as far as we can [with the first store].” Selling wine is only the obvious part of the business. About a fifth of sales are from wine accessories – everything from books to aerators and cork screws to
Photos by Devon Brooks
Considering the success of the wine industry in B.C. it’s hard to remember the switch to an unprotected market was viewed as an industry catastrophe in the ‘80s. It was very uncertain that B.C. wines could survive the onslaught of competition from the best wines in the world. The VQA was a way of providing at least one guaranteed outlet for B.C. wines.
glasses. Kamloops not only had no VQA store, but there were offerings there for many of these accessories. Gray says Kelowna is relatively saturated and she has already shipped accessory products sitting on the shelves in Kelowna that were snapped up in Kamloops. Discover Wines also had a healthy contingent of customers who made the trip south to buy product from her, but who now form the healthy base for her Kamloops operations. ■
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Summer 2013 13
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SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
ARPA Decision put off until November
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10 ACRES RUTLAND NORTH Country Estate on beautiful flat hay land. Suitable for organic vegetable farming. Substantially renovated home, 4 bedrooms + den, 2 fireplaces, large kitchen. Large 40 x 50 ft detached garage+ 1 bedroom guest house. Will consider trades. Asking $1,695,000 MLSr 1006 3439 Open To Offers!
28 ACRES KELOWNA With gentle slope and S.W exposure. Panoramic City, Lake & Valley views! Features luxurious home with 5 bedrooms + den, pool, triple garage + detached 40’ x 60’ garage, 60’x60’ barn, second home + 4 farm worker dwellings. Seller will consider smaller property on trade. $3,200,000 MLSr 10057237
19 ACRES S.E. KELOWNA Beautiful flat hay land with full irrigation water rights & 2 homes. Main home has 3,227 sqft with 3 bedrooms + den, 2 fireplaces, 2 car garage. 2nd home has 2,000 sqft, 3 bedrooms + den + 2 car detached garage with loft. Seller may take smaller Kelowna home on trade $1,750,000 MLSr 10063196
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14 Summer 2013
The decision to join ARPA (Apple Research and Promotion Agency), which will likely be controversial, has been put off until November 2013. This is the third time the decision to hold the vote has been put off. This time out, the decision to postpone, explains Glen Lucas, general manager of the BCFGA, was to avoid overlap, and possible confusion, from having a referendum on this issue at the same time that cherry growers were deciding whether to form the B.C. Cherry Council (growers voted that initiative down). Lucas says, “We’re promoting that growers be aware of what the apple promotion agency would do and how the levy would work.” ARPA is the proposal for British Columbia apple growers to participate in a nation-wide research agency. For ARPA to go ahead the farmers in the four provinces with sizeable orchards and organized apple growers (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and B.C.) must agree to participate. The other three provinces have already given the go ahead, so now it comes down to this province. If B.C. apple growers reject it ARPA won’t go ahead. The controversy arises because it will require growers to accept a small production levy, something that some cash strapped farmers object to. The advantage is that if it goes ahead, it would become a national scheme and a charge could be applied to all apple imports. Given that approximately half of Canada’s apples are imported, this would effectively double ARPA’s funding, which is to be used to address research on various apple industry issues. Lucas, talking about the BCFGA, says, “We’ll be recommending it.” He adds, “My understanding is that we’re for it, but we’ll support whatever decision the growers make.” The next step will occur at a special BCFGA General Meeting in August where delegates will take care of some bylaw amendments. At that meeting Lucas says they’ll provide an ARPA information system, which the delegates and representatives will share with grower members in the fall, leading up to the vote in November. There will be some promotion of the plebiscite using a modest grant provided by Investment Agriculture supplemented by some BCFGA funds set aside in the annual budget for that purpose. Says Lucas, “It’s at the stage where the information is out there and we need to move forward and make a decision.”■
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
Rooftop connections to the Consumer Despite the rise of the local food phenomenon there are many times when the consumer doesn’t know where or how they can connect to locally grown produce. There are great venues like Farmers’ Markets, but the markets, valuable as they are, only occur once or twice a week. Most of us purchase our produce in a supermarket of one kind or another. Alterrus Systems is starting to make it easier to connect local produce to Vancouver area consumers. In the company’s words, “Alterrus has created a sustainable vertical growing system that grows fresh, nutritious leafy green vegetables in urban environments where they are to be consumed.” “A vertical growing system” sounds great, but the question is how is that possible in large urban settings where there is little land, and much over-priced concrete? The only wasted space, until now, has been the rooftops. Other more crowded cities in the world have been developing rooftop space for years, but in North America this has been much less prevalent.
Alterrus has been certified as a B Corporation, which was done by the nonprofit organization, B Lab. This certification means the company is committed to a governance structure that puts an emphasis on environmental performance and social issues, and that is enshrined in corporate resolutions endorsed by at least two-thirds of shareholders. The start of its local food commitment in Vancouver is through its subsidiary, Local Garden (http://www.localgarden.com). Local Garden is using food from a roof top garden on top of a parkade at 535 Richards Street in downtown Vancouver to supply a half dozen restaurants and consumers through SPUD.ca, a Vancouver-based online grocery delivery service. ■
One of the ways Alterrus makes use of crowded, urban areas to grow crops is by using its VertiCrop System, which makes use of vertical space to increase production.
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Summer 2013 15
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
Grapegrower Party Mark your calendar on September 12th for the party of the year! Celebrate the season’s harvest with BC grapegrowers enjoy a night of diner, music and fun. Featuring a chef prepared dinner including chicken and seafood plus lots of fresh local produce. This is a chance to meet and mingle with the grapegrowers from the vineyards who produce the grapes that make the wine. Share some wines from your cellar or that you have made and have an afternoon and evening of fun celebrating our vibrant BC Wine and Grape Industry. There is overnight camping available at $20 per night. Transportation by bus he bus is sponsored by Engage Agro/BASF is available to take you to or from Penticton with stops along the way and via Keremeos through Cawston to the Thee Vineglass Vineyard, 306 Sumac Road, Caswon, B.C. Advance tickets for BCGA members is $55 per member or $75 for non members. Contact by email: email@example.com or register and pay online at www.grapegrowers.bc.ca/ ■
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16 Summer 2013
La Frenz Winery Wins Congratulations To La Frenz Winery "Best Small Winery Of The Year" At Riverside International Wine Competition Awarded The Top Trophy For "Best Small Winery Of The Year" At The 2013 Riverside International Wine Competition In California. Also Honoured With Seven Major Awards From Eight Entries - Six Golds And Four Best Of Class. "It Is A Tremendous Result For Us, Netting These Awards Against International Wines. I Also Think It Is A Great Day For Canadian Wine, Commented Owner, Jeff Martin.
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
Strawberry Council Ponders Future
Award accepted by Winesecrets President Eric Dahlberg (left) and Jack Jacoby, Winesecrets Office Manager and Iraq veteran (right) with Claudio Calvo, California Veteran Employment Rep, himself a Vietnam war veteran (centre).
Considering the weather and other issues, the 2012 season was good for strawberry growers in southwestern B.C. Yields were on par with the previous year with estimates of 170 tonnes of processed strawberries and 1,275,000 pounds of fresh. In addition to the crop review, the Fraser Valley Strawberry Grower’s Association (FVSGA) AGM focused on the potential move towards a national council. If the national council proceeds, provincial councils will remain intact and will receive potions of the national funds to support research, promotion and administration. A large portion of the new council’s funding would come from levies on imported berries, which would be added to new mandatory levies on Canadian growers. According to Sharmin Gamiet, FVSGA’s general manager, all provinces with a strawberry grower’s council are in support, but having the provincial organizations agree isn’t enough – growers need to put forth their own “yes” votes.
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Winesecrets Wins Veteran Employer of the Year Award 2013 American Winesecrets, North America’s leading Outsourced Wine Production Specialists, has been awarded the Veteran Employer of the Year by the California Employer Advisory Council (CEAC) in the Small Private Business category. The CEAC Veterans Employer of the Year award recognizes employers who consistently demonstrate positive policies toward U.S. veterans in hiring and promotion, as well as through retention efforts, ongoing training, and benefits. Winesecrets earned the award for its recruitment efforts, training and successful placement of veterans in Sonoma County.
Also nationally, berries had a positive result at the “minor use” program meetings where seven new berry products were added to the chemical program list. The FVSGA announced in 2012 that it will phase in a name change to the British Columbia Strawberry Growers Association to better represent all members. The change is ongoing. ■
Summer 2013 17
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
B.C. Votes for Liberal Continuation Prior to the election we asked a few people what they would like to see from the government, regardless of who won. Here are some of the more interesting responses: I would like to see an Agricultural Land Commission that can shift from a case by case basis for decisions to creation of overall policies that treat all stakeholders equally and fairly. Specifically I am referring to the patchwork of approvals and denials that have been handed out with respect to whether winery restaurants on ALR land are able to serve local beers and spirits. Sandra Oldfield, CEO & Winemaker at Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Premier Christy Clark at provincial legislature June 1, 2011 celebrating B.C. Beef Day.
As they say, the people have spoken. It would be interesting if there is any difference among specific groups of people when they voted. For example, did the B.C. farmers endorse the provincial Liberals, did they reject the governing party, or was the vote among farmers split according to individual preferences as it was across the general population? There is no way of determining these questions, but regardless of how the overall vote went, the government is back in with a strengthened majority for the next four years. Now, farmers can only hope the provincial government stops the annual rotation of new faces in and out of the ministry. During the election campaign, Norm Letnick, our latest Minister of Agriculture declared the party’s agricultural plan rested on three strategies: 1) Focusing on the production of high-value, high-quality products 2) Expanding domestic and international markets 3) Staying competitive on taxes and regulations Other promises included a carbon tax relief for farmers, tax credits for food donated to food banks, to begin work on a permanent tree replant program, another $2 million for the Buy Local campaign, working with other provinces to lower intraprovincial barriers to wine movement, to develop a B.C. organic brand and improvements to the meat inspection system. The cabinet will almost certainly be shuffled, but farmers can hope for some stability in the portfolio and that Norm Letnick is retained as the Minister of Agriculture. ■
18 Summer 2013
If I were ag minister I would try to level the playing field for our growers; that means investing the same level of support as our competition internationally and provincially. A well known stat is B.C. provides 4% of agricultural GDP in support programs where the average for the other nine provinces is 16%. Our last government shamefully refused to partake in many federal provincial cost shared programs; that left millions of dollars on the table in Ottawa. Peter Simonsen, BCFGA Board Member
I would like to see the next Government completely ban trans-genetically modified organisms that allow excessive use of chemical control agents that poison our watersheds, destroy biodiversity and make our food cancerous, and completely ban neonicotinoid pesticides that kill bees. These two bans should encompass all farming operation throughout BC. Gabe Cipes, Biodynamist at Summerhill Pyramid Winery
The provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Lands desperately needs a coordinated agricultural strategy, led by a minister with agricultural background. Some specifics that need to be addressed: apprenticeship programs for the agricultural sector; extension services that support growth in key areas (organics, specialty crops, environmental best practices); mandatory organic certification for anyone making claims about organic status; creative thinking about land access arrangements for new farmers; production insurance options for small-scale producers. I want a government that has a vision for what a sustainable, vibrant agricultural sector could look like in this province and that will put the resources behind developing a strategy to achieve this vision. Chris Bodnar, Glen Valley Organic Farm
McDougall & Sons, Inc. understands that some British Columbia Ambrosia growers may be considering having their fruit packed and marketed in Washington State this coming season. In 2004, McDougall & Sons, Inc. and Columbia Marketing International, LLC (CMI) acquired joint rights to pack and market apples of the Ambrosia variety grown in the United States. We have worked hard to establish Ambrosia quality standards that have enabled CMI to develop a very strong retail customer list. The execution of this model has created demand well in excess of supply, with extremely favorable returns for our growers. If you are a quality grower with 10 acres or more of Ambrosia plantings and have an interest in participating in our program, please contact:
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Summer 2013 19
SUMMER | NEWS & EVENTS
On April 24, Tourism Kelowna launched its Farm-to-Table program at the Laurel Packinghouse. The program is meant to highlight the importance of agri-tourism and locally sourced food to the region’s economy and those of other communities around the province. More than 60 people showed up to welcome the launch. The event featured restauranteurs, farmers and food producers who will participate in the 2013 program along with the Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick and several other dignitaries. Food at the reception included apple juice by Function Junction, wine from Cedar Creek Estate and The View wineries and canapes produced by chef Mark Filatow of Waterfront Wines. All food and drink were made with locally sourced produce. Some 27 businesses are involved in the 2013 Farm-to-Table program. For more information on those companies or to download a brochure, expected shortly, go to: http://www.tourismkelowna.com/do/farm-to-table. ■
Chefs behind the counter at Waterfront Wines, who prepared the food at Tourism Kelowna’s Farm-to-Table program launch in late April
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20 Summer 2013
Photo Courtesy of Tourism Kelowna, photo by Salt Food Photography
Farm-to-Table in Kelowna serves up Delectable Launch
FreshTAP Grabs Market Niche in Vancouver Vancouver Urban Winery introduced the new approach to selling wine by the glass to B.C. â€“ wine in kegs and available on tap, draft beer-style. By Michael Botner
Summer 2013 21
The production room at Vancouver Urban Winery where wines are stored in kegs, pressurized with nitrogen to prevent spoilage.
COST-SAVING – ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING SYSTEM The FreshTAP system – wine in kegs and available on tap, draft beer-style – has been pouring into gastropubs and restaurants in key markets across North America. With only one or two modest exceptions (Nichol Vineyard’s Pinot Gris at Naramata Heritage Inn and prosecco imported from Italy), FreshTAP stayed out of B.C., at least until early 2012 when Vancouver Urban Winery arrived on the scene. Since then B.C. wineries have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and try out the new approach to selling wine by the glass. Big in wine-savvy U.S. markets, the system’s popularity with boutique wineries has been its greatest success. Touted as a cost-saving, eco-friendly packaging system, the keg supply industry boasts that serving wine from reusable kegs reduces 22 Summer 2013
costs for bottles, corks and labels, as well as for shipping. According to Mike Macquisten, CEO and a founding partner of Vancouver Urban Winery, there are other benefits. “The quality of the wine out of the keg mimics how wine is kept in the winery,” he says. “At a time when serving wine by the glass is on the increase, representing as much as 80% of wine sales, you never know what state the wine will be in when it comes out of the bottle.” Macquisten first learned about FreshTAP from a former colleague at Earls who saw it in action on a visit to the U.S. At the time Macquisten and Steve Thorp, his partner in a marketing company, were on the hunt for new opportunities. A UBC graduate, Macquisten began his career “behind the bar through university”
and worked at Earls for five years before moving into sales for Molson and Corby, where he was introduced to high value spirits and wines. Thorp, a snow boarder who took the business program at Capilano University, ran an action sports equipment business. Recognizing the potential of FreshTAP, they traveled to the U.S. to research keg packaging suppliers, and within a few months, developed the plan for bringing the concept to B.C. Their model meant obtaining a commercial winery license and finding a suitable location for kegging –packing wine in kegs– close to the B.C.’s biggest concentration of consumers and licensees. Getting the stamp of approval from the city for housing Vancouver’s first winery proved to be a major hurdle. Officials turned down three sites they proposed,
CEO Mike MacQuisten with one of the wine kegs allowing consumers in bars and restaurants to have wine on tap.
before they uncovered a 10,000 square foot heritage building in a revitalized commercial district called Railtown, neighbouring Gastown. Built in 1922, it started with a masonry company as the first occupant, still evident in some of the stone work incorporated into the building. That was followed by a manufacturer of landing gear for airplanes during WWII, and most recently a steel foundry.
The quality of the wine out of the keg mimics how wine is kept in the winery. Mike Macquisten
Summer 2013 23
REDUCES COSTS FOR BOTTLES, CORKS, LABELS & SHIPPING varieties from many participating wineries with up to five one-ounce samplers per customer. With Macquisten as CEO, Thorp took on the COO role, preferring more technical pursuits such as keg logistics. They hired consulting winemaker Kelly SymondsMean to oversee kegging, cleaning the new and used kegs, and meticulous lab testing to ensure quality and consistency.
Vancouver Urban Winery’s wine bar and lounge seating.
Client wineries ship the wine to be kegged directly to Vancouver Urban Winery in 850 litre stainless steel tanks or oak barrels, in some cases unfiltered. The 19.5 litre kegs, custom-engineered in the U.S., are filled from the tank or barrel, until an overflow sensor turns off the flow. “Using sterilized tops and nitrogen under pressure, FreshTAP is a closed system,” Macquisten explains. “It picks up less than 1% oxygen, compared to 4 to 5% for a bottling line.” Custom graphics liners are installed over top. After use, the kegs are returned and cleaned for reuse. “Over 70 bars and restaurants are serving wine by the glass with our system,” Macquisten says. “Employing a nitrogen injection system and cooling for whites, conditions are ideal for storing wine in kegs for six to eight months. “In our first year of operation, we kegged the equivalent of 10,000 cases of wine, saving over 100,000 bottles and shipping costs for empty bottles from Washington or China,” Macquisten says. “With 37 wineries on board and over 70 pubs and restaurants on the receiving end, FreshTAP’s been a hit out of the gate.”
The list of available wines gives an idea of just how many wineries are signing on to the concept of the Fresh TAP system.
Now it provides plenty of space for Vancouver Urban Winery’s FreshTAP operation. That includes a Sake crafted on Granville Island and two Cellared in Canada varieties from wines imported by Vancouver Urban Winery under the proprietary brand name Roaring Twenties Wine Co., a separate business operation under the same roof. 24 Summer 2013
Along with storage of kegs, tanks and barrels, the facility houses a large area with a bar –its base made of elaborately carved stone. Vancouver Urban Winery welcomes the public to do tastings, tours and hold private events like weddings. No other facility in B.C. can claim up to 36 taps at a tasting bar, serving multiple
Acting as a third party provider of its service, FreshTAP garners a fee for packaging the wine. While contracted wineries are responsible for selling their own kegged wines to licensees, Vancouver Urban Winery is hard at work educating consumers and licensees on its availability, use and benefits. “We value the support behind the product they offer,” says Alison Scholefield of Okanagan Crush Pad, a FreshTAP client. “They are enthusiastic and innovative in their efforts to promote and expand the market for wine on tap.”■
Stop the Pests with Backbone
The Townsend vole is less common than the meadow vole, but tends to be more destructive to farmer’s fields.
Time to put a ‘Stop to the Pests with Backbone’ Part of the appeal of being a fruit grower is spending time outdoors communing with nature. The birds, the bees, the wildlife – it’s all part of Mother Nature’s big happy family unless some of Mother’s children begin to exhibit too much backbone in your field or orchard. You take action or face serious losses. Whether large mammals, rodents or birds, the creatures snacking on your property are known as vertebrate pests.
Voles and mice are different species, yet look and behave similarly. They hide under weeds, leaves and other ground cover prompting many orchardists to create weed-free strips between trees. Removing debris and material piles will aid in denying rodent-friendly refuge. Wood mulch has been used effectively in some regions, but damp climates break down the chips to a soil-like material, allowing for tunneling. “What works in one region may not work in another,” Mullinix says.
The starling is the most obvious, but this article will focus on ground-based pests, the small, furry mammals that farmers find neither cute nor cuddly.
Douglas Ransome, a fish, wildlife and recreation program instructor with BCIT, notes voles seem to prefer high vegetation sites, but studies are still underway to determine the relationship between vegetation and voles.
Small vertebrate pests include voles, mice and gophers – of those, the vole is generally the most destructive. These hungry rodents eat roots and can destroy an entire operation.
“We’re not sure yet,” he says. “Many of the sites [studied] with grass have encountered voles. It looks like grass has a role in population, but we’re uncertain what that means for [crop] damage.”
In his talk at the January Pacific Agriculture Show, Mark Sweeney, BC Agriculture’s berry industry specialist, said, “Voles are a growing problem.”
Thus, having voles doesn’t always equate to crop damage. “We don’t know when [a trigger to damage] happens,” Ransome notes.
Vole photos by Doug Ransome
By Ronda Payne
The Meadow vole is often called a field mouse in Canada, but is a different species.
Voles can reproduce every 21 days sometimes causing “eruptive population cycles.” Studies about the tipping point that causes a population explosion are underway. It is during this growth from one or two voles per hectare to 600 to 800 that crop damage occurs. Coastal based growers on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland are faced with the tunneling Townsend vole’s tricky behavior. Ransome notes, coastal growers are “really kind of stuck. I still tell farmers to definitely put up perch poles [for rap-
Summer 2013 25
Photo by © Jiri Castka | Dreamstime.com
One of the most effective methods to deter rabbits is fencing about three feet high, with the bottom six inches buried to prevent digging.
most toxic effects. These poisons have been found in many of the raptors studied. It is unknown what levels of secondary poisoning will kill or disable a raptor. “The doses are very small, but it is very toxic,” Hindmarch says. “Definitely think twice before putting rat poison out.”
Photo by © Brian Kushner | Dreamstime.com
In a study of dead owls, 70% had traces of poison in their liver. Generally, this comes from secondary toxicity (from eating prey that has consumed the poison), but in some cases birds access the poison directly. Ransome says in his studies of voles in fields he has found the majority of farmers have used poison, at least sometimes.
Deer can be repelled by human hair, soap and lion dung.
tors], but when you start getting hundreds per hectare, the predators can’t control them.”
lutions for small rodents are propane torching of runs and poisoning.
Ransome says it is assumed that these, high volume years force voles to turn to crops as a food source.
Poison may seem like the easy answer, but organic farmers can’t use rodenticides and poison frequently harms helpful raptors and snakes.
Trapping is difficult with mice and voles, but is more effective with gophers according to Mullinix. Other possible so-
In her study of raptors for Delta Farm & Wildlife Trust, Sofi Hindmarch explains that modern anti-coagulants have the
26 Summer 2013
Mullinix confirms this and further comments, “I do not have any statistics, but in my experience most conventional perennial fruit crop farmers would feel it appropriate to poison small rodents… because they can do extensive damage quickly.” With little alternative control available, poison has become an acceptable solution, though not necessarily a comfortable one. “I think we need to do more work to develop biologically based integrated
vertebrate pest management methods and strategies,” Mullinix says. “[Poison] disrupts or preclude biologically-based systems, disturbs and diminishes the ecological complexity and hence the integrity/resilience of our agro-ecosystems. [It can also] directly harm pets and other off target species [like] people.” Mid-sized pests with attitude include beaver and rabbits. Everyone knows how difficult beavers can be; they won’t give up a good home, so trapping and relocation is essential. Because the over-sized rodent doesn’t climb or jump, flaw-free low fences can be effective. Fortunately beavers only damage trees. They are seldom interested in cane or bush crops. Rabbits take delight in the bark and vascular system of trees just above snow level, thereby girdling it. They will also dine on new shoots, leaving many plants at risk.
but deer and elk are quick to habituate. Flawless fencing is an effective option, but the expense can make it prohibitive, especially given the height necessary. Mullinix states one of the best deterrents he witnessed was a Great Pyrenees dog. The nocturnal and protective behaviour of the dogs make them excellent herd guardians as well as family pets. Eliminating high vegetation and other nearby cover will help control bears along with picking ripe fruit quickly and keeping the ground clear. Motion sen-
sors can be a deterrent, but bears too are easily habituated. Electric fencing is perhaps the best bet, but it must be operational before the growing season begins as bears will proceed through the fence if they are already food conditioned. It’s time for you to gently push back some of Mother Nature’s creatures. If the pests in your orchard or field are exhibiting a little too much backbone, identify the pests and take responsible action to ensure your crop has the best chance possible. ■
One of the most effective methods to deter rabbits is fencing of about three feet high with the bottom six inches buried to prevent digging. Rabbits are not long distance travelers – they stay within a radius of about 20 acres – so deterrents need to encourage the rabbits to stay out of the production area. Search the internet and you’ll find a number of repellent ideas from human hair to lion dung. If you can control rabbits this way, the key to continued success is regular replacement. Like mice and voles, desirable rabbit habitat needs to be removed – debris piles, dense vegetation and rock piles. Rabbits are also controlled by raptors; and a dog or two running the field will further deter them. Ultimately, because of their high reproductive ability, it takes a combination of methods. Some vertebrate pests are a problem simply because of their size. Deer, elk and bear can trample, crush and swat plants and trees.
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Combined with this unintentional damage is regular feeding. Deer and elk eat both fruit and new plant buds. “Deer and elk [graze] on shoot tips during the winter dormant season and can remove all terminal buds as high as they can reach,” says Mullinix. Control methods are similar to that of other pests. Repellents like human hair, soap and lion dung may be effective,
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Hired Guns Creative
Pouring New Life into the Beverage Industry
Hired Guns Creative's owners Leif Miltenberger and Richard Hatter.
First impressions count. Especially when it comes to labels on wine and other alcoholic beverages. Your product must stand out and deliver the right impression to attract the consumer. Fortunately, there is a firm that takes the tried and true theories of design and creates new, exciting work with them by incorporating solid, fundamental approaches without the modern-day fluff and nonsense. Award winning Hired Guns Creative, which specializes in the wine, beer and spirits market, focuses solely on getting the right kind of attention to increase
consumer interest in your product. “There are a lot of labels that look great on the bottle,” said Leif Miltenberger, a partner at Hired Guns. “But when you put them on the shelf next to other bottles, those same designs blend right in – they don’t have the impact you’d hoped for.” Recognizing the wine industry, which is so dependent upon appearance, could use a fresh approach, Miltenberger and business partner Richard Hatter, help beverage clients cut to the core of their brand. The imagery and messaging they create is a pure translation of that brand essence.
“We bring a younger, fresher perspective to things and yes, we may have a slightly weirder perspective, but that gives our clients their desired outcome.” Richard Hatter 28 Summer 2013
Competition for visibility on a West Coast craft beer shelf is fierce. For Stoutnik, differentiation is achieved through stylish, sparse, contemporary design, a frosted black bottle, and printing techniques not usually seen on craft beer labels. And for the true explorer, the story told in blindembossed Morse Code seals the deal.
“We aren’t confined by what’s been done in the past,” Hatter noted. “We look at what the winery is all about and what their wine is all about. We work as a team with our clients to get all the thoughts out on the table, then we sift through that information to find the nugget to extract and nurture into a compelling brand story.” Not confined to just label design, Hired Guns provides a range of services that bring attention to your brand: winery and product naming, branding, and marketing strategy – which frequently lead to web design, marketing materials, and various collateral. Creativity is often about finding new answers to old questions and for Miltenberger and Hatter this means different processes than the average design firm. “We go further down the rabbit hole than most,” said Hatter. “We bring a younger, fresher perspective to things and yes, we may have a slightly weirder perspective, but that gives our clients their desired outcome.” One project that recently gained such an outcome is a new Okanagan winery, Bonamici Cellars. They received rave reviews for the label on their recently launched wine. Author and wine columnist, John Schreiner said, “I want to compliment Hired Guns Creative on the Bonamici Cellars label. It is so refreshing that I smiled spontaneously in joy when I saw it. It has been a while since I have seen such an effective label.” Hired Guns takes on a project wholeheartedly – it isn’t a watered down, rehashed approach; this is a customized methodology tailored to the needs, personality, goals, and preferences of each client. Since they are a small boutique firm, Hired Guns is hands-on and produces higher quality work due to the energy poured into understanding a winery’s needs at the foundational level. The profound concentration of creativity that Hatter and Miltenberger bring to the table, and their belief that every project is unique, helps them approach each project in a specialized manner. This has created a track record of positive results, including the win they earned in the Applied Arts 2013 Design Awards for
The branding and packaging design for Bonamici Cellars emphasizes a journey to a new place, something undiscovered, where anything is possible, anything achievable, as long as you have a good friend along the way.
their Stoutnik beer label, plus another international packaging design award they’re required to keep under wraps until it’s formally announced later this year. “We don’t want to be the typical design firm and we don’t go through a typical process,” Miltenberger noted. “We want to give you something you couldn’t come up with on your own, but that suits your
brand and the market perfectly. Then, when we hear a client say they can’t make enough wine to keep it on the shelf, we know we did our job right.” When it’s time to make your wine or beverage stand out on the shelves, consider asking Hired Guns Creative to release their creativity. You are certain to see your products pour out a great first impression. ■ Summer 2013 29
All The Stores You’ll Ever Need
Flory Bosa sits amongst sacks of supplies in her warehouse used by wine makers all over the province.
By Darcy Nybo Flory and Dennis and Bosa didn’t set out to become one of the top winery and beer supply companies in B.C. They were competitive home wine makers who ended up sourcing out and bringing in grapes and juice for themselves and their fellow home wine makers. By 1989, their knowledge and sourcing of supplies had reached the tipping point and Flory and her husband decided to incorporate Bosa Grape and Juice Ltd. “Our living room was like a store by then,” laughs Flory Bosa. “My kids were opening the door for absolutely anybody because so many people were coming to the house. We had to make a decision to make this larger.”
From Living Room to Labware They now have two 5,000 square foot warehouses in Burnaby. When new products come on to the market, Bosagrape gets the call to represent them. 30 Summer 2013
This corner of the Bosa Grape warehouse is dedicated to a vast array of lab equipment.
“We have every wine lab product you would need from the day you get your grapes until the day you bottle,” says Flory. “We own all the equipment and because we also use it, we can answer almost every question that comes our way.” Walking through their showroom you’ll see reagents, fermenting and pH meters, hydrometers, thermometers for tanks and cellars. “It’s not just about doing the tests and getting a value at the end,” says Flory. “Once you get that number and you have to do something with it; we have the products to help you deal with your results.” What you need for a lab you can get at Bosagrape. “Dennis has all this stuff at home so I can always ask him, as the consultant, to give suggestions to our customers. If you tell us what you need, we can show you the solutions needed to make the wine you want.” The nearly endless list of products may still not be what someone is used to, which Flory knows from dealing with wine makers from other countries. “We have people from France or New Zealand that come here and it’s not the same products they use back home. They are used to different solutions than what we stock. We research it and then source the proper items to help transition them to what is available here.” Bosagrape stocks more than lab supplies. “We have all the equipment from crushes and presses and fermenters and up to 3,000 liter tanks,” Flory says. “We have oak barrels and we have bungs. We have sanitizing equipment; we have racks, barrel stirrers, and racking tubes. Pretty much everything and anything any wine maker would need.” When the Bosas aren’t working, they are travelling and going to trade shows; sometimes as attendees, other times as exhibitors. “We like to get our information directly from the manufacturer,” she explains. “Then we do trade shows where we are the exhibitors. We will be at the 14th Annual Enology & Viticulture Conference & Tradeshow. Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16, 2013, at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre and at the one on Vancouver Island the week before.”
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Summer 2013 31
High Inventory = Lower Customer Costs
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“We have so much inventory,” says Flora, “and I think that is what has helped with the longevity of the company. For example, we have over 100 envelopes of malolactics in stock; all in different sizes and from different manufacturers. We have a lot invested in stock because we want to make sure we have it when you need it. We try to keep all we need here so we can ship from here.” There’s also the convenience of having the same product from different manufacturers. Flory and her staff will break down larger order for customers who want to try a product. “I have 10 different types of yeasts that would be sold by 10 different companies reps. Wine makers can buy one or two of each of the yeasts to see which works for them. They’ll find the prices are very similar to that of the manufacturers.” It is quite unusual to have the breadth of product line that Bosagrape carries. Walk into the showroom and it is all right there. You can see it, you can touch it, and you can take it home with you that day. Beyond a huge selection Bosagrape relies on service. “If a customer wants to do a trial of certain product, we can repackage it for them. If a customer doesn’t want the 25 kg package, then we’ll break it down to five kilograms for them and repackage it,” explains Flory. Beware though, if you walk into the showroom, you may never want to leave. “When people walk in the door the first time, whether they are from a big winery or if they are just a home wine maker, they tell me they feel like they’ve walked into a toy store,” she laughs. ■
For the Latest News on the Industry visit www.orchardandvine.net
• NEWS • FUNDING & PROGRAMS • EDUCATION • OPINIONS • BLOGS • PROGRAMS • COMMENTS • DIRECTORY 32 Summer 2013
SHAWNEE LOVE | SEASONAL LOVE
How to find good help in a tough business Passionate and, dare I say, ‘grounded’ types are the best types of employees, but since agriculture isn’t the best paying work, – the work is hard and the hours are long – it shouldn’t be a surprise that people aren’t clamoring to get in.
ood help is hard to find, particularly when it’s seasonal.
I often point out to clients that businesses must either grow or die, because status quo gives your competitors time to overtake you. In the agriculture industry, that statement applies literally as well as figuratively. There is no question agriculture has a bit of a raw deal, but then again, no one gets into agriculture because they expect life to be easy. You are either born into it, or it is just “in your blood.”
Older folks who might want to get back to nature are locked in to a lifestyle that agricultural pay might not support or they may feel too old to put in a physical day in the fields – 20 years in a cubicle farm will do that to you. Well informed younger folks can’t be blamed for seeking jobs that pay better with lighter work and more career growth.
Speak Your Candidate’s Language When attracting seasonal workers, particularly young people, find the right currency. If big pay isn’t it, what about: • An active outdoors lifestyle (don’t oversell, but don’t emphasize negative as-
pects like pruning outside in the middle of winter either.) • Dumping a costly gym membership for a real cross-fit workout. • No repetitive strain on eyes and wrists from being glued to a computer. • Substituting a real farm for the cubicle farm • Alternatives to the field worker stereotype – farms need more than pickers Never doubt that recruiting for employees is a marketing campaign. Catchy tag lines and fluid ways to collect leads (a.k.a. candidates) are required in today’s recruiting world, but unfortunately many agricultural employers still use 1970s recruiting methods.
21st Century Recruitment To get a jump on your competition and get candidates for your jobs, ensure you make like 7/11 and keep your candidate pipeline open year round. Accept appli-
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Summer 2013 33
cations any way you can get them, and while you don’t have to hire them immediately, follow up, stay in touch, and ensure the people you would like to hire know you are interested. Indicate you are “Now Hiring” on your company trucks, website (if you have one), and signs and sandwich boards in front of your locations. Younger generations are on their smart phones and social media, so to attract them, you need to have a Facebook, Linked in and Twitter account for your business. Once you are signed up, build a social media campaign to announce jobs you are hiring for and respond to everyone who applies, thanking them for their interest and letting them know whether they are hired or not.
Target Candidates in Groups Another good strategy for attracting candidates is to look for niche groups of people you can draw workers from. Be creative and open minded about where you can find candidates. If you are willing to train, skilled workers through Destination Canada or through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, are great sources of people. Despite the extra costs involved for accommodation and transportation, you gain reliable, eager workers committed for the duration, so you aren’t training the same job three and four times a season.
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Give to Receive Consider hosting a career fair or speaking at local high schools and colleges about your industry and encouraging them to consider a job in agriculture. Build relationships with their career counsellors and perhaps even offer job shadowing opportunities or tours to get these youth excited about a career in your field (or orchard). This approach can work with many of those underrepresented in our workforce including people with disabilities, minorities and aboriginals. Don’t exclude people based on stereotypes. If there are friendship centres or resource centres for minorities or the disabled in your community, find out what help they can offer you. Additionally, there may be grants in place to encourage you to hire people from these underemployed groups and that can go a long way towards minimizing the impact of some extra training and management.
Check out Gerard’s Equipment for any orchard or vineyard supply, located just south of Oliver on Highway 97.
Our world and the people in it are different, so it makes sense that the our methods of hiring and managing workers have to change as well. ■
5592 Hwy 97 Oliver BC 250-498-2524 250-498-6231 34 Summer 2013
Consider posting your jobs in locations that will attract the massive transient workforce both from Eastern Canada and abroad. It is common practice for youth from the U.K., Australia and New Zealand to go abroad on a gap year after high school or university. They are working in our ski hills in the winter; why not encourage them to experience the wonders of a Canadian summer? Some form of low rent housing is a powerful tool in your hiring arsenal, and the pay back for this extra cost is a healthy, active work force who want the job you are offering.
Shawnee Love is the Owner of LoveHR, specialists in people management, people skills, and human resources. When she’s not working with clients, you may find her blogging for www. lovehr.ca, tweeting as @career_doctor and @lovehrtweeter and of course, enjoying the beautiful Okanagan Valley with her two boys, husband, and Digger, her lab retriever.
LEGAL LIBATIONS | DENESE ESPEUT-POST
Protect your Income - the case for Creditor Proofing business can be liquidated or sold off without sacrificing your strong vineyard operation and profitable consulting services. The need to protect one business from another is especially important if one of the businesses is new and vulnerable to failure.
business debt belongs to the corporation operating the business, not the owner.
n important part of operating a financially successful business is income protection. Most business owners recognize the need to protect business and personal assets from those who could bring legal claims against the business. This is called creditor proofing. A common way for a business owner to creditor proof is through incorporation. A sole proprietor or a partner in a general partnership is personally liable for the debts of their business. The business and the owner are considered one and the same. Incorporation allows a business owner to escape personal liability for the debts of the incorporated business. The corporation and the owner are considered two separate persons at law. The
Typically, a business protection plan involves the incorporation of a single company along with a general liability insurance policy, but planning can go much further. For example, a “holding company” is part of a more comprehensive creditor proofing plan that can be implemented by a business owner, but there are a few options involving corporations and holding companies.
Going one step further, a single holding company can own the multiple corporations used to operate your businesses. Your businesses would be subsidiaries of the holding company. This is another extension of a creditor proofing plan as the profit of each subsidiary could be passed to the holding company and
Diversification is an important part of minimizing risk. If you own more than one business (for example, you operate a fencing business, run your own vineyard and offer winemaking consulting services), you should consider having more than one corporation to run each businesses.
protected from possible legal claims against the subsidiary. In our example, the profit from your consulting business can pass to the holding company using inter-corporate dividends and be protected if one of your clients starts a claim against your business for damages resulting from allegedly improper advice. The use of a holding company in this way creditor proofs the profits of an operating business, but the other assets of the business, like land, machinery and equipment, trademarks, etc., are not protected. A complex creditor proofing plan can go even further so
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other valuable assets of the business are owned by yet another corporation. This corporation would, for example, own the land the operating company uses to run its day to day business. The operating company would simply lease the land and building from the real estate corporation that owns it. If any claims are made against the operating company, the assets of the real estate corporation will not be available to satisfy those claims. If necessary, the lease can be terminated. If this strategy is implemented, there is asset protection along with profit protection. It can be argued an operating company should not own more assets than those necessary to run the business activities. This is true creditor protection in that there is not much in the business for a creditor to target. In this case, assets could be limited to contracts, accounts receivable and inventory. There are many factors to consider when determining the best corporate structure. Asset protection is one factor, but it is a very important factor, especially when a business in new and vulnerable; however, tax, financing and operational factors are also important considerations. It is important to meet with your legal and tax professionals when determining the best foundation for your business whether you are starting out or have been operating for many years. Remember, creditor proofing should be done when your business is able to meet its debt as it becomes due. Do not wait until your business is being chased by creditors or on the verge of insolvency. Your creditor proofing plan must be done for valid business reasons. Oppressive conduct designed to defeat creditors will likely be considered contrary to law and overturned. Effective creditor proofing protects against claims of future creditors, not existing claims of existing creditors. Proceed with caution and protect your income. ■ Denese Espeut-Post, B.A., LL.B., P.Mgr., C.I.M., is the owner of Avery Law Office located in Summerland. Her practice areas focus on business and real estate law, trade-marks and estate planning. Denese can be reached at 778-516-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
36 Summer 2013
MONEY TALKS | GEOFF MCINTYRE
Three Things You Should Know From This Year’s Budget dispositions of qualified small business corporation shares and qualified farm and qualified fishing property after 2013. The new LCGE limit is applicable to all individuals, including those who had previously used their LCGE. 2013 Federal Budget
he Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, presented the country’s 2013 Federal Budget on March 21, 2013. As stated by Minister Flaherty: “We will remain focused on what matters to Canadians – jobs and economic growth, and ensuring Canada’s economic advantage today will translate into the long-term prosperity of tomorrow.” For orchard and winery owners there was three items that were particularly noteworthy in this year’s budget. Here’s a breakdown.
Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) This year’s budget proposes to increase the LCGE limit to $800,000 (from $750,000) for 2014 and it will be indexed for inflation for taxation years after 2014. The increase is effective for
temporary measures to encourage investment in manufacturing and processing by Canadian businesses. Equipment used in wine making or fruit processing and packaging would generally qualify for these measures thereby allowing a business to write off the cost of such equipment much more quickly than under the regular Capital Cost Allowance rates.
For farmers who own farm land with significantly unrealized capital gains, this means that each individual can now shelter an additional $50,000 in capital gains. The rules can be a bit complicated, but the LCGE would generally apply to capital gains on land that has been farmed by an individual or a person related to that individual, including shares of a family farm corporation. Shares of a corporation operating a winery may also qualify.
The budget proposes to extend the temporary 50% straight-line CCA rate for two additional years to include M&P equipment acquired in 2014 or 2015. Any related assets acquired in 2016 and subsequent years will qualify for the regular 30% decliningbalance CCA rate for Class 43 assets.
Even if a business is not currently taxable because of losses, it should place related equipment in Class 29 so that the accelerated claim may be made in future years.
Restricted Farm Losses Back in the Fall 2012 issue of Orchard & Vine, I wrote about the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Canada v. Craig. In that decision, the Supreme Court dismissed CRA’s appeal and essentially opened the door for the unrestricted claim of farm losses, as long as the taxpayer could demonstrate they were farming on a commercial basis. Previously CRA has argued that farming must be the taxpayer’s chief source of income in order for farm losses to be fully deductible against other in-
There are ways of benefitting from the LCGE without selling the qualifying property to an arm’s length party. You should consult with a qualified tax advisor about taking advantage of this significant tax planning opportunity.
Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance – Manufacturing & Processing Equipment A few years ago, the federal government introduced
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come sources. The Court disagreed with CRA, pointing out that the Income Tax Act contemplates that a combination of farming and some other source of income could qualify as a taxpayer’s chief source of income. Well, as often happens when CRA loses, the government responded by changing the rules. As a result, this year’s budget proposes to amend the restricted farm loss (RFL) rules for purposes of clarifying the chief source of income test. Specifically, a taxpayer’s other sources of income must be subordinate to farming in order for farm losses to be fully deductible against income from those other sources. To soften this blow somewhat, the budget also proposes to increase the RFL limit to $17,500 of deductible farm losses annually ($2,500 plus one half of the next $30,000). These measures will apply to taxation years that end on or after March 21, 2013. It remains to be seen how “sources of income” will be defined.
Other Items to Note There were no changes to personal income tax rates announced. The effective top Federal tax rate on non-eligible dividend income will rise from 19.58% to 21.22% for non-eligible dividends paid after 2013.
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No new corporate income tax rate changes have been announced in this year’s budget. The current Federal corporate income tax rate is 15.0% for general corporate income and 11.0% for small businesses on active business income up to the small business limit of $500,000. ■ Geoff McIntyre, CA is a business advisor to the Agrifood industry in MNP’s Kelowna office. To find out what Geoff can do for you, contact him at 250.763.8919 or Geoff.email@example.com.
For the Latest News on the Industry visit www.orchardandvine.net
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THE WILD THINGS | MARGARET HOLM
Photo by © Kojihirano | Dreamstime.com
Wiley Coyote visits the Farm
oyotes are a highly adaptable species found throughout North and Central America. The word “coyote” is derived from the Aztec language and means “trickster.” Coyotes were once persecuted throughout their range, but their population has gradually increased. Coyotes like open spaces and edge habitat, as people have cut down forests and modified the landscape, coyotes have expanded their range and adapted to living in urban and rural communities.
i squ t a
This highly adaptive species also preys on domestic animals such as chickens, sheep, goats, cats and dogs. Coyote scat around agricultural areas will show the remains of grapes, cherries and other fruits scavenged from farms and vineyards. As with other members of the canine family, they have an excellent sense of smell, and can be attracted to garbage, pet and livestock
feed. Once enticed to areas where humans live, coyotes often lose their fear of people and hunt around homes and farms during the day.
is buried underground, Coyotes, like bears and dogs are good diggers so the fence must be constructed and electrified appropriately.
Finding coyote scat is often the first sign that this creature is checking out your property at night. The scat is smaller than dog faeces and often contains hair from mice and voles. If coyotes are feeding on fruit crops, either deer fencing or electrified fencing can be effective as long as a skirt of fencing material
Make sure wildlife gates are closed so that they are not trapped inside fencing where they will do more damage trying to get out. Coyote management is similar to bear management so controlling attractants is the second line of management. Keep garbage and waste in
Coyotes prey primarily on rodents and rabbits, but also eats insects, wild fruits and berries, carrion and larger game like deer. In the wild, coyotes are active at night and often hunt in pairs. Some
individuals are nomadic while others defend territories particularly if there is a den.
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Summer 2013 39
wildlife proof bins, and if it smells, keep it inside a building. Bring domestic pets in at night and make sure chicken coops are secure. Remember that the smell of vulnerable livestock, garbage and fruit compost can be detected from two kilometres away and provides a strong incentive for a nightly visit. Most coyotes are a benefit to agriculture, more interested in catching mice and marmots, with the occasional stop for a bite of fruit. If a coyote is habituated to your property consider creating a “Wildlife Conflict Management Plan” including: an onsite evaluation assessing past and current operations identifying potential conflicts and safety concerns, a mitigation plan, and implement and worker education to reducing conflict and loss. Onsite evaluations and/or forms can be accessed by agricultural operators by contacting Zoe Kirk, Bear Aware and WildSafe BC Coordinator at Regional District Okanagan Similkameen. zkirk@ rdos.bc.ca, 250-492-0237 ext. 4110. ■ Margaret Holm works for the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance.
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EDITOR’S VIEW | DEVON BROOKS
Money, Money, Money and Vancouver Urban Winery's new sales comcept will mean increasing sales for their businesses – and should mean more sales for wineries and grape growers, but the direct line of growth to any given farmer is very difficult to see.
Still, Maslow’s point is that if you don’t have enough money for basic needs, that condition will eat at you until you do. How much is enough varies enormously, usually depending on what you are used to.
y old English granny used to tell me money was a vulgar term, so allow me to rephrase: income, income, income. As the economists would have it, it’s not all about money, at least according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is the theory of psychology put forward by Abraham Maslow in 1943 that created a pyramid of human needs. To put it bluntly basic physiological needs like food, sex, sleep come first. After that are security needs, which includes income and work, and Maslow outlined more than a dozen needs we’ll really consider only after income security is taken care of. Money is a funny thing or at least it leads humans to do strange things when they don’t have enough of it or, conversely, when they become obsessed with acquiring ever larger amounts of it.
Yet many farmers know the spectacular growth and maturation of the wine industry has created many jobs. According to numbers released in the report, Canada’s Wine Economy (see survey results this issue, page 42), 31,370 jobs exist in this country; more than ten thousand of them in this province. Grape growers in British Columbia number 538.
Money, which you can measure down to the penny, is also amazingly hard to pin down. Governments, along with mega-corporations, spend such enormous sums that it is beyond the comprehension of most of us. That’s why politicians will turn out in droves for photo-ops if they promise a few thousand for a particular program, but can also say they don’t know where $3 billion went on defence spending.
During the recent provincial election all the parties made fawning promises of how important agriculture was. Now
Sometimes grabbing hold of money is like trying to grab a handful of water. It’s there, you’ve got some, but you can’t quite corral it.
the election is behind us, and it's going to be interesting to see if the re-elected Liberals live up to their promises. Some times there are easy answers. Our legal columnist Denese Espeut-Post provides some practical tips on protecting your assets, while accountant Geoff McIntyre tells you how to outsmart the taxman. But we’d love to hear from you. What are the ways you’ve come up with, big and large, to make money, cut expenses, or protect what you’ve got going on your farm. ■ Devon Brooks is the editor of Orchard & Vine and you can send comments to him by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In this issue we touch on a range of issues that can impact the pocket books, but how much, when and how soon is debatable.
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Summer 2013 41
The Economy of Wine The Canadian wine industry, represented by the British Columbia Wine Institute, the Winery Association of Nova Scotia, the Winery & Grower Alliance of Ontario and the Canadian Vintners Association commissioned a report on the impact of the grape and wine industry on the economy of the country and the individual provinces. The report was undertaken by Frank, Rimerman + Co. of California, which compiled research and statistics from the industry in 2011. Their completed report, Canada’s Wine Economy – Ripe Robust Remarkable, can be found online at http://www.winebc.org Highlights from the report are shown below and reflect 2011 figures used in the report.
1 BILLION GLASSES OR
220,000,000 BOTTLES of Canadian produced wine
SALES BY THE BOTTLE
Of all wine consumed by Canadians comes from Canadian wineries
WHAT'S IN CANADIAN WINE?
WINERIES 475 212 GRAPE GROWERS
22,723 18.3% CANADIAN GRAPES
REVENUE CREATION – AVERAGE BOTTLE SOLD TAX REVENUE
81.7% IMPORTED GRAPES OR JUICE
B.C. WINES HAVE THE HIGHEST AVERAGE BOTTLE PRICE
B.C. VS. THE REST OF CANADA
$$$ B.C. 44.5% Rest of Canada 55.5%
42 Summer 2013
Rest of Canada 59.5%
Rest of Canada 64.2%
Rest of Canada 74.4%
Total Grape Acreage
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Summer 2013 43
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