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Summary Report on the Blended in Canada Wine Labelling Consultation

Wine sold in Canada must have a statement to indicate the wine's country of origin, such as "Product of Spain" or "Product of Argentina." In some cases, the wine may be blended in Canada from wines of various countries including Canada. The exact proportion of the wine from each source may change over the production year.

For over 20 years, the country of origin statement for wines blended in Canada has been: "Cellared in Canada by (naming the company), (address) from imported and/or domestic wines." This statement was originally implemented to allow flexibility in cases where wine is blended in Canada using Canadian wines and wines from numerous other countries. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has heard from consumers and industry that "Cellared in Canada" is misleading and needs to be replaced. To respond to these concerns, the CFIA consulted on newly proposed country of origin statements. Between June 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017, the CFIA provided an opportunity for all interested persons to submit their comments.

The consultation was open to a broad range of stakeholders including consumers, industry associations, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations. Participants had the option to complete the survey online or submit questions via e-mail.

Participants were asked whether they would support new label statements for wines blended in Canada to replace the current "Cellared in Canada by (naming the company), (address) from imported and/or domestic wines" label statement.

The proposed statements were as follows:

This report summarizes what we heard from consumers, industry, and other stakeholders.

About the respondents

In total, 886 respondents completed the survey. Of those, over half were consumers and nearly 40% were industry and other stakeholders, including wine associations, wine enthusiasts, wine educators, sommeliers, restaurant chefs/managers, retailers, and wine media/journalists.

Most of the respondents, nearly 95%, came from British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec, collectively.

Total responses per category of respondents

Total responses per category of respondents. Description follows.
Description for image – Total responses per category of respondents
Category of respondents Number of responses
General public 56.5%
Wine industry 37.0%
Wine associations 2.0%
Other 4.5%

Location of respondents

Location of respondents. Description follows.
Description for image – Location of respondents
Provinces and Territories Total responses
British Columbia 45.1%
Ontario 28.4%
Alberta 11.1%
Quebec 9.0%
Manitoba 1.4%
Nova Scotia 1.2%
Saskatchewan 1.1%
New Brunswick 0.9%
Newfoundland and Labrador 0.4%
Prince Edward Island 0.2%
Yukon 0.2%
Northwest Territories 0.1%
Nunavut 0 %

What we heard

Support for new blended wine label statements

The survey presented a brief background on the country of origin labelling requirements for wines blended in Canada and the rationale for the proposed statements. It then asked participants whether they were supportive of the new statements replacing "Cellared in Canada" or not. The survey also contained a comment submission portion, where participants could submit any comments or concerns on the proposed statements.

We heard strong support for the proposed statements. Of the 886 participants, nearly 81% of all respondents were supportive of the proposed statements, while almost 19% were not supportive. There were also 512 comments submitted.

Examples of the most prevalent comments from the public which were supportive of the change include:

In contrast, examples of the most prevalent comments from the public which were not supportive of the proposed statements include:

It was also noted that the French statements should be changed to match the English, namely that the French translation of "domestic" be used instead of the French translation of "Canadian."

Overall, support for the new statements was as follows:

Next steps

Based on the consultation, which showed strong support for the proposed statements, the CFIA has included the new statements in the wine country of origin labelling policy, effective March 12, 2018.

For wines blended in Canada, the voluntary country of origin statement "Cellared in Canada" will no longer be used. The new statements are now considered acceptable for country of origin declarations for wines blended in Canada from domestic and imported sources if producers do not wish to list the countries of origin specifically.

This summary report outlines what we heard from consumers and industry stakeholders. The questions and answers page addresses some of the queries and concerns expressed in the survey.

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