WINE BC 2030
Long-Term Strategic Plan for the Wines of British Columbia

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Final BC Wine Industry Long-Term Strategic Plan Revealed at BC Wine Industry Insight Conference

Earlier this month at the BC Wine Industry Insight Conference in Pentiction, Wine BC 2030 – the Long-Term Strategic Plan for the BC wine industry – was officially delivered to more than 200 industry stakeholders. Wine BC 2030 is a culmination of more than 18 months of industry engagement led by the BC Wine Institute in developing a ten-year strategic plan for the BC wine industry.

While the official launch of Wine BC 2030 was in October 2018, the project truly began in October 2017 – when the BCWI board recognized the need for a long-term strategic plan that would define a clear and cohesive vision for the future for BC wine, as well as provide the roadmap and tools to get there.

Since then, more than 30 meetings have taken place in 12 locations province-wide and more than 650 industry participants provided input into the plan via multiple platforms, including industry working groups with representation from each of the sub-regions in BC, local industry experts and key stakeholders. In addition, progress updates were regularly communicated to the industry, creating opportunities for interested members of the wine community to contribute.

During the presentation and concluding the BC Wine Industry Insight Conference, project lead Honore Comfort guided the industry through Wine BC 2030’s Strategic Vision for the industry, which addresses overarching issues and opportunities that will shape and sustain the industry for decades. Comfort also explained the core ideas behind the plan, culminating in the twelve Strategic Recommendations that will allow the industry to achieve said vision.

The final Long-Term Strategic Plan for the BC wine industry is a well-constructed and synchronized strategy and action plan for all areas of the industry, a guide for decision-making over the next ten years that is tailored to the strengths of the region as a whole. It serves as a dynamic model designed to guide implementation, facilitate decision-making, adapt to shifting external forces and motivate the industry to grow and change. To meet that end, the plan is both a high-level and visionary road map, as well as a detailed guide to ensure successful implementation.

Access the full WineBC 2030 Long-Term Strategic Plan here.

BC Wine 2030: Industry Update Webinar Summary and Q&As

This week, Wine BC 2030 presented mid-term updates to the Long-Term Strategic Plan to the industry through an informative webinar.  The presentation included an overview of the planning process and timeline, a summary of industry input to date, key takeaways from the Working Group sessions, and a glimpse of what’s to come in the planning process ahead. We also introduced the proposed Strategic Vision and Strategic Pillars for the BC Wine Industry as key components of the final Long-Term Strategic Plan and invited feedback from the industry.

The 60 industry Leaders who participated in the webinar were invited to share commentary and pose questions which are summarized below. Our work is ongoing of course, so if you have additional questions or thoughts to share, please make contact through the website winebc2030.com or by email to Honore Comfort honore@honorecomfort.com or Maggie Anderson MAnderson@WineBC.com.

If you were not able to join the Wine BC 2030 Industry Update Webinar, the presentation is available for your reference in PPT and PDF formats, housed on the website here: winebc2030.com/webinars.

The following Q&As were posed during the webinar:

Has the provincial Tourism Ministry and Destination BChad input into the Strategic Vision so far?

Destination BC has participated in this project by way of the Tourism and Hospitality Working Group. While they have not yet weighed in on the strategic vision (and the strategic pillars), these topics will be a part of the conversation on the January 18 working session.

We recognize Destination BC as a key partner moving forward, to ensure that we are working at the regional level in terms of cultivating an aligned, long-term strategy for developing tourism and supporting Destination BC partners. 

Will the Task Force also be advocating for future “Satellite Tasting Room” licences so that wineries can pour and sell their wines in other areas of the province (such as Gastown, Whistler, etc)?

This came up in our first Tourism and Hospitality working session. This is one of the ideas that fall into the longer-term policy planning process that should be evaluated and considered since it will rely on close partnership and alliance with the government to pursue. This is certainly an excellent idea and in order to realize this, it will take planning and collaboration with tourism, wine industry, and government.

Are there any strategic plans around Free My Grapes – the promotional platform to push for opening up the interprovincial borders to allow shipping of wine across the country?

While we have not discussed strategies specific to Free My Grapes, addressing interprovincial shipping laws is a fundamental strategy in the plan. Taking a leadership position with provincial and federal government partners will be a priority, along with identifying ways to foster collaboration across the industry to influence policy decisions.

Highlights from participant commentary:

“BC wineries and winegrowers are growing and converting to organic production at a high rate and the wine world is under great pressure to reduce pesticide use … how will our strategy and messaging show consumers that we are leading the trend?  The term ”sustainable” doesn’t cut it any more. Since we are ahead of most world regions in terms of organic acreage versus all acreage [under vine], we can gain international recognition if we promote the facts about our organic industry, which will reflect well on everyone in the BC industry if done well…”

“I was pleased to see the question about engagement from Destination BC and your response that they have been and will continue to be a part of the process to ensure alignment.”

Regarding regional programs through associations such as Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and the industry-led industry initiative Sustainable Winegrowing BC: “It might behoove us to do both but there could be some overlap. Is there a benefit to one recognized certification?”

“Thank you so much for acknowledging the diversity of our grape plantings as a strength and not pushing us to adopt a signature varietal for the province!”

“… It is my perception that there are too many organizations doing similar things and all asking for per ton levies … this over bureaucratized structure is a hindrance to farmers joining and having a coherent voice. There are too many committees and too many groups to make sense of.”

“Today, I can assure you that there is a vibrant four season tourism industry in Niagara and it is not unreasonable to think that we [British Columbia] can achieve this level of success.”

Many thanks to all who participated this week and if you haven’t yet, please mark your calendars for the town hall meeting nearest you running January 22 through25. These will present another opportunity for industry members to share input and feedback on pressing issues to be addressed in the final plan. For dates, locations, and to register: click here.

See you next week!

Wine BC 2030 hits the road with region-wide town hall meetings: January 22-25

As we welcome the new year, Wine BC 2030 is entering the next stage in the development of its end-goal: an effective and clearly defined long-term strategic plan that will serve the BC wine industry over the next ten years. The town hall meetings, which will take place in six locations throughout BC wine country later this month, form an essential part of this stage – ensuring that all members of the industry have an opportunity to share input and feedback on pressing issues to be addressed in the final plan.

In addition to an update on the planning process to date, the discussions will also cover a range of topics that will guide the ultimate strategies in the plan including:

  • A long-term vision for the BC wine industry
  • Developing BC wine as a category
  • Collaboration and integration across the industry
  • Cultivating a culture of quality
  • Building BC wine’s identity with consumers

While we’ve collected valuable information over the last few months from working group sessions and individual discussions with key stakeholders, these upcoming sessions will present the opportunity to hear from the industry as a whole. We invite you to take this opportunity to participate in the planning discussions and register to attend your local town hall event:

Duncan (register)
Tuesday, January 22 / 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Langley (register)
Wednesday, January 23 / 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Langley Events Centre

Penticton (register)
Thursday, January 24 / 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
TIME Winery

Osoyoos (register)
Thursday, January 24 / 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Watermark Beach Resort

Kamloops (register)
Friday, January 25 / 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Thompson Rivers University

Kelowna (register)
Friday, January 25 / 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Summerhill Pyramid Winery

BC Wine 2030: Mid-term Industry Update Webinar Reminder

As a reminder, we will be hosting the Wine BC 2030 Industry Update Webinar on January 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM (PT). This mid-term progress report will inform and engage all participants during this key stage in development of the Long-Term Strategic Plan.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and early involvement from stakeholders across all sectors of the industry, we are well on track to delivering the final Strategic Plan structure and content – strategic vision and pillars, concrete goals, implementation and evaluation tactics, and deadlines – in March 2019.

Register here in advance of the webinar. 

Meeting and log in details:

Date: Jan 15, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Meeting ID access code: 894 673 532

Join the Zoom meeting using one of the following three options:

  1. Use web browser https://zoom.us/j/894673532 and log in using the Meeting ID access code
  2. Download app to your desktop or mobile device and log in using the Meeting ID access code
  3. Dial in from within Canada at +1 647 558 0588: audio only; will not allow access to screen sharing capability or to follow the live PPT presentation. Please note you will be prompted for the Meeting ID access code

We will of course send any materials referenced during the webinar in advance of the meeting to all those registered. Thank you in advance for your participation!

A word from winery owners and proprietors: What are the opportunities for BC wine?

As part of the Wine BC 2030 project plan, over the past few weeks we have conducted a series of individual phone calls with the participants of the winery Owners and Proprietors Working Group. Below is a list of the key takeaways we gathered from these industry professionals relating to future opportunities for BC wine:

  • Industry-supported education programs and workshops in both viticulture and winemaking: These would be easily accessible – affordable or no cost – and held in various locations around BC. The objective would be to increase the overall level of industry education and technical knowledge, while creating ways to share best practices between experienced growers and winemakers and those who are newer to the industry. In general, we found a common sentiment that there is an opportunity to elevate the industry’s knowledge and to create a culture of “Best in Class” winemaking and viticulture practices that are tailored to support the unique characteristics of the region.
  • Evolution of BC VQA program to mirror the growth of the industry: Some concern was voiced about the potential for increased competition from international imports under the new NAFTA agreement (or USMCA). There is also support for improving the quality and communication of the feedback/results derived from the BC VQA tasting analysis and using it as part of a broader educational initiative.
  • Building export strategy to other Canadian provinces: Focus should be given to methods and initiatives to build awareness, improve image perception and find ways to help minimize costs and improve margins while doing business in other regions, particularly in the case of smaller producers.
  • Establishing an industry-wide “Commitment to Quality”: The industry would benefit from a common code of quality standards that become the driving force behind decision-making and program development, as well as a fundamental part of the common identity of BC wines. Currently, this underlying commitment does not seem to be universally shared, and in some cases it is not well understood how programs like conjunctive labeling, specificity of sub-regions and GIs on labels, and high quality farming practices flow through the industry to create increased value and demand for BC wines.

For a list of participants and other working group recaps, visit – winebc2030.com/who/working-groups-local-leads.

For questions and to find out how to get involved, please contact Honore Comfort at honore@honorecomfort.com or Maggie Anderson at MAnderson@WineBC.com.

 

BC Wine 2030 Working Group Outcomes: Tourism & Hospitality

Wine BC 2030’s Hospitality and Tourism Working Group – an ad hoc group made up of a selection of BC’s tourism and hospitality leaders – met this week to engage and offer valuable perspective to the BC wine industry’s long-term strategic planning process.

The conference call offered insightful and valuable commentary about the challenges and opportunities facing the industry at both the a provincial and the regional levels, as well as from the perspective of individual wineries.

Discussion topics:

  • Seasonality – how do we embrace it?
  • DTC/Retail Sales – how do we generate foot traffic at the winery, in market?
  • Development – what are the strengths and opportunities with BC wine tourism and hospitality?

For more details surrounding the topics that were addressed in the session, and to see the list of names of those who participated, click here.

The next Tourism and Hospitality Working Group session will take place in January or February of 2019 via conference call – participants will be notified once a date and time is determined.

For more information about Wine BC 2030 Working Groups and to find out how to get involved, please visit – winebc2030.com/who/working-groups-local-leads.

Upcoming Working Group Meetings Reminder

During the next two weeks, Wine BC 2030 will hold four Working Group sessions: Hospitality and Tourism, Trade, Viticulture, and Winemaking.

These ad hoc groups are made up of a selected cross-section of industry leaders in their respective arenas who will inform the strategic planning process and shape the long-term vision and strategy to develop the future of BC wine.

Engagement and input from our industry leaders, along with their questions, data, and perspective will be an essential part of the planning process.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 4 (9:00-10:30 AM)- Hospitality and Tourism Working Group Conference Call
  • December 5 (9:00-10:30 AM) – On and Off Premise Trade Working Group Conference Call
  • December 11 (10:00-11:30 AM) – Viticulture Working Group Conference Call
  • December 12 (10:00-11:30 AM) – Winemaking Working Group Conference Call

For more information on the Wine BC 2030 working groups including meeting schedule and recaps, visit – winebc2030.com/who/working-groups-local-leads.

If you have further questions about the Working Groups, please contact Honore Comfort at honore@honorecomfort.com or Maggie Anderson at MAnderson@WineBC.com.

BC Wine 2030 Working Group Outcomes: Viticulture & Winemaking

As part of the Wine BC long-term strategic planning process, the first Working Group session took place on November 15 at Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos, prior to the annual BC Wine Institute Viticulturists and Winemakers Forum. The session combined both the Viticulture and Winemaking task groups made up of a selected cross-section of BC viticulturists and winemakers to help inform the strategic planning process and shape the long-term vision and policies around the future of BC wine production.

Viticulture & Winemaking Working Group at Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos.

Topics discussed included:

  • Acreage reporting – how does the industry ensure accurate acreage reporting?
  • BC VQA – is it time to re-evaluate the system so that it is in line with current trends in the BC wine industry?
  • Labour and infrastructure shortages – how do we combat labour shortages and limited accommodation for seasonal employees?

For more details surrounding the topics that were addressed in the session, and to see the list of names of those who participated, click here.

The next Viticulture Working Group session will take place on December 11 and the next Winemaking Working Group session on December 12, both via conference call.

For more information about Wine BC 2030 Working Groups and to find out how to get involved, please visit – winebc2030.com/who/working-groups-local-leads.

Wine BC 2030: Industry Input & Strategic Plan Structure

Welcome to Wine BC 2030! The Long Term Strategic Plan for the BC wine industry aims to develop a synchronized strategy for all areas of the industry. The plan will act as a guide for decision-making over the next ten years that is tailored to the strengths of the region as a whole.

There are 7 key focus areas for the plan:

  • Strategic Vision
  • Regional Branding & Communication
  • Planning for Growth
  • Go to Market Strategy
  • Building Partnerships
  • Industry Structure & Systems
  • Relationship to Government

Through an open forum of communication and with input from the industry, the plan will be developed collectively and effectively. Here is how you can engage:

  • Scoping Project – review findings and recommendations from the spring 2018 industry-wide survey, town hall meetings, interviews, and roundtable discussions
  • Wine BC 2030 website – using the Contact Us page and leaving comments on the blog
  • Working Groups – Viticulture, Winemaking, Tourism & Hospitality, Trade, Media, Agents, Regional Representatives & Local Leads
  • Industry Webinar – January 15, 2019
  • Town Hall Meetings
  • Stakeholder Interviews

As we move toward delivery of the final Strategic Plan in March 2019, we invite you to explore the site and continue to check it periodically for news and calendar updates regarding working group sessions, town hall meetings, webinars, etc. Here’s to a bright future for the BC Wine Industry!

BCWI Appoints Contractor for Long-Term Strategic Plan

  

The British Columbia Wine Institute is thrilled to announce the engagement of The Artemis Group and O’Donnell Lane LLP, to undertake the development of the BC Wine Industry Long-Term Strategic Plan. Both consultants have extensive experience in the wine industry specifically with trade organizations, industry groups and a variety of wineries.

Following an extensive scoping project in the spring, the BCWI used the findings as the terms of reference for a request for proposal process inviting eight submissions. The selection committee (comprised of a sub-committee of the BCWI Board of Directors) reviewed the proposals and shortlisted two proponents, who made their presentations to the Board of Directors at its annual strategic session last week. Ultimately, the Board selected Artemis Group and O’Donnell Lane to undertake the project.

“The Artemis Group and O’Donnell Lane are uniquely positioned to understand the challenges, growing pains and opportunities of a developing wine region such as BC,” said Miles Prodan, President & CEO of the BCWI.

Honore Comfort, Principal of The Artemis Group, was contracted earlier this year to undertake the BC wine industry long-term strategic plan scoping project and delivered a report that consolidated the input from our entire industry, including wineries, grapegrowers, academia, trade and media.

“We see a bright future ahead for the BC wine industry, and I look forward to working alongside the vintners and growers in the region to build a plan that will help them realize this vision.” Honore Comfort, Principal, The Artemis Group.

“I am honored to join the Wines of British Columbia team on this project. The unified vision that will be gained from this process will surely propel the BC vintners to greater heights in the future” Steve Burns, O’Donnell Lane LLP.

The Artemis Group and O’Donnell Lane LLP have deep roots and extensive experience in the wine industry and we are excited to work with them and our industry on this pivotal project.