On February 1st, the British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI), the voice of the B.C. wine industry, announced a name change to Wine Growers British Columbia (WGBC). It was decided that the change was necessary to better reflect the value-add agriculture, agri-food and growth opportunities of this dynamic industry.
Following the lead of the recently renamed national organization – Wine Growers Canada (WGC) – the renaming as WGBC reflects the organization’s deep connection to the land, from the vineyard to the glass, and repositions the B.C. wine industry and WGBC as the high value agri-food product and economic growth generator that they are.
“As farmers, winemakers, retailers and tourism operators, the B.C. wine industry is the highest value-add agricultural product in British Columbia, contributing more than $2.8 billion in annual economic impact,” says Miles Prodan, President and CEO of Wine Growers British Columbia. “Repositioning the organization as Wine Growers British Columbia is a significant step in keeping our industry moving forward and better reflects the B.C. wine industry as part of a complex value-added agri-food chain and not simply a beverage alcohol product.”
Since 1990, WGBC has played a pivotal role in taking B.C.’s wine industry from a vision to an internationally recognized niche region producing premium wines and providing exceptional wine tourism experiences.
At the organization’s Annual General Meeting on September 1, 2020, the Board of Directors identified the importance of rebranding both the British Columbia Wine Institute and the B.C. wine industry to Wine Growers British Columbia to better align with other provincial and national associations. Organization members voted unanimously to make the change.
“Repositioning the organization as Wine Growers British Columbia is a significant step in keeping our industry moving forward and better reflects the B.C. wine industry…” – Miles Prodan
“The objective for the new name was to focus the provincial association image from simply representing the beverage alcohol sector to being identified as a socially responsible, value-add agricultural contributor, representing and supporting grape-growers and wineries as part of a family farm network,” says Erik Fisher, Board Chair, Wine Growers British Columbia.
Wine Growers British Columbia continues to represent wineries across all nine wine growing regions of B.C. Its member wineries are responsible for almost 95 percent of all grape wine produced in B.C. including 100 percent certified B.C. wines.
WGBC will continue to bring together its membership to market the wines and wine regions of B.C.; deliver quality trade, media and consumer tastings; and advocate to government on behalf of industry by working cooperatively with governments and stakeholders at all levels to find solutions that benefit B.C. wines and the communities in which they work and live.
“In British Columbia, more than 280 licensed grape wineries enhance the vibrancy and sustainability of our vineyards and agricultural communities which in turn supports more than 12,000 jobs and attracts more than a million tourists each year,” says Prodan. “We’re excited to continue representing and supporting grape-growers and wineries as Wine Growers British Columbia, collaborating with
government and industry to advance important initiatives that support key social and environmental areas along the entire farm-to-table value chain and foster the continued success of our industry.”
For more information about Wine Growers British Columbia’s member programs and services, visit WineBC.com.