SALEM, Ore. — With abundant fields of apples, pears, grapes, cane berries, stone fruit, hops, and botanical herbs, the Northwest has become the heart of the craft cider movement. Since 2017, Northwest regional sales of cider have experienced double digit growth, then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, devastating sales and straining these small family-owned businesses.
“COVID-19 is impacting agriculture producers of all sizes, especially small producers,” said Alexis Taylor, director, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). “At ODA we are proud of the state’s expansive work in connecting Oregon’s diverse agriculture producers and processors with federal, state, and local resources that support our food supply chain, protect agricultural workers, and our economy.”
In response to the market changes, the Northwest Cider Association, a non-profit trade organization representing nearly 100 cideries in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia, approached ODA with a project proposal called the Northwest Cider Club. To help fund the project and assist the cider producers, ODA applied for, and was awarded, nearly $150,000 in Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) grant funds. FSMIP funds are used to assist agricultural producers and processors in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation.
The Northwest Cider Club offers perfectly picked, carefully curated craft ciders selected from more than 100 independent cidermakers. The limited-release, debut club box is themed “Discover Oregon” and includes 6 unique, hand-picked ciders, available for order only at www.nwciderclub.com until November 22, 2020.
The celebration package makes exploring Northwest cider easy. “We’re stoked to collaborate with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Northwest Cider Association to work together to celebrate craft cider!” said Aaron Sarnoff-Wood, co-owner of 2 Towns Ciderhouse. “All you’ll need to go along with the box is a good cheese, a fresh loaf of bread, and your “quaran-team” to share these beautiful libations with.”
The Northwest Cider Association represents more than $700 million in economic impact to the Pacific Northwest, primarily through independent, small businesses. ODA will provide technical assistance to the Northwest Cider Association as they launch and promote the project.
— Oregon Department of Agriculture
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