Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering support to wine sector customers in B.C. who are facing financial hardship as a result of prolonged cold temperatures over the winter that caused significant damage to wine vines across the province.
B.C.'s wine industry is projecting a significant reduction in wine and grape production this year. Initial projections by Wine Growers B.C. forecast a 39 to 56 per cent drop in wine and grape production in 2023.
Many wine producers in that area may be facing a cash shortfall since they may have lost vines or full vineyards. Vines that are replanted take time to reach full maturity where they bear quality fruit. As a result, producers may be faced with revenue shortfalls to pay their expenses.
“Agriculture and food is the only industry we serve, so we have a deep understanding of the challenges that come with the business,” said Jeff Affleck, FCC senior vice-president of western operations, in announcing customer support.
“We stand by our customers over the long term, helping them pursue opportunities and overcome challenges, and this year’s cold weather in B.C. has certainly been challenging for many wine business owners. As a leader in financing to Canadian farmers, we have a unique responsibility to step up and help.”
Customer support is a central part of FCC’s business. The Crown corporation will consider additional short-term credit options, deferral of principal payments and/or other loan payment schedule amendments to reduce financial pressures on producers affected by last winter’s cold temperatures. FCC will also offer flexibility, and even a combination of options based on the individual needs of its customers, since each farm financial situation is unique.
Customers in B.C. are encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager to discuss their individual situation and options.
Although FCC customer support is being offered in specific locations, Canada’s leading agriculture lender offers flexibility to all customers through challenging business cycles and unpredictable circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
For more information, visit fcc.ca.
Source: Farm Credit Canada May 17, 2023 news release
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