1. Is my winery eligible to participate in the sale of Wine at Farmers’ Markets?

    In order to sell wine at Farmers’ Markets, a winery must obtain an Authorization for an occasional extension of its on-site winery retail store within a Farmers’ Market (“occasional extension”) from the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing (“Registrar”). Occasional extensions are only permitted to operate within Farmers’ Markets as defined in Regulation 720.

    Wineries that wish to participate in the program must:

    • have a valid AGCO Manufacturer’s licence;
    • operate an authorized on-site winery retail store; and
    • Produce one of the following types of wine: VQA wine, fruit wine, honey wine and/or maple wine (eligible wine):
      • VQA wine” has the same meaning as “Vintners Quality Alliance wine” (VQA wine) in section 2 of the Vintners Quality Alliance Act, 1999.
      • “Fruit wine” means Ontario wine that,
        1. is produced from fruit grown in Ontario, other than grapes, and;
        2. is not produced using any combination of the concentrated juice of apples grown outside of Ontario
      • “Honey wine” means a wine described in clause (b) of the definition of “Ontario wine” in subsection 1(1) of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA).
      • “Maple wine” means Ontario wine that is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of Ontario maple syrup or another Ontario maple product.
  2. How does my winery become authorized to participate in the program?
    You can apply for an Authorization to Sell Eligible Wine at a Farmers’ Market online, through the iAGCO portal.
  3. What kind of wine is my winery permitted to sell at a Farmers’ Market?

    Wineries only, that are authorized to participate in the program are permitted to sell one of the following types of wine (defined above): VQA wine, fruit wine, honey wine and/or maple wine.

    All wine sold at an occasional extension of a winery retail store must comply with the “made” requirement for either a winery located within a DVA or a winery located outside of a DVA as it is defined and applied in the Winery Retail Store Information Guide published by the Registrar.

  4. At what Farmers’ Markets can my winery sell eligible wine?

    For purposes of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) and Regulations, “Farmers’ Market” means:

    • a central location at which a group of persons who operate stalls or other food premises meet to sell or offer for sale to consumers products that include, without being restricted to, farm products, baked goods and preserved foods, and at which a substantial number of the persons operating the stalls or other food premises are producers of farm products who are primarily selling or offering for sale their own products.

    The Regulation does not authorize the establishment or operation of Farmers’ Markets at which all or a substantial number of the products sold or offered for sale are VQA wines,fruit wines, honey wines and/or maple wines.

  5. Is my winery required to notify the AGCO prior to conducting sales at a particular Farmers’ Market? If so, how does my winery provide notice to the AGCO?
    Wineries with an Authorization to Sell Eligible Wine at a Farmers’ Market must provide the AGCO with at least 10 days’ notice of planned sales at Farmers’ Markets (i.e. days of sale that have been confirmed with a Farmers’ Market). If the intended days of sale are cancelled or changed, please notify the AGCO at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Notification to the AGCO of your planned sales at Farmers’ Markets can be submitted online through iAGCO.

    The AGCO will notify you if any municipal objections have been received regarding any of the Farmers’ Markets where you intend to sell your wine.

  6. During what hours will I be able to sell my eligible wine at Farmers’ Markets?
    Eligible wine may be sold during Farmers’ Markets’ hours of operation. A Farmers’ Market can further limit the hours of sale of eligible wine, as can a municipality when a Farmers’ Market is located on municipal property.
  7. Are there limits on how many days per week my winery can conduct sales at a particular Farmers’ Market?
    An occasional extension can only operate up to three (3) times per week at a particular Farmers’ Market.
  8. Are there limits on how many Farmers’ Markets at which my winery can conduct sales on a particular day?
    No.
  9. Is my winery permitted to store wine away from its on-site retail store prior to, or following, sales at a particular Farmers’ Market (i.e. in a truck or off-site warehouse)?
    Wineries must ensure that any eligible wine that is offered for sale at the Farmers’ Market and that is not sold is returned to the manufacturer’s store within 72 hours from the time it leaves the manufacturer’s store.
  10. What rules apply to staff when they are conducting sales at Farmers’ Markets?
    Similar to your on-site retail store, all staff that handle alcohol must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.

    Anyone selling or serving eligible wine at a Farmers’ Market must be certified by Smart Serve®.

    The same sales rules that apply to your on-site retail store apply to sales at Farmers’ Markets. For instance, wine cannot be sold to anyone under the age of nineteen (19) or to individuals who are or appear to be intoxicated.

  11. Is my winery permitted to provide samples to patrons at Farmers’ Markets?
    Sampling is permitted but must be confined to the occasional extension within the farmers’ market.
    Sampling must follow the Sampling Guidelines published by the Registrar and any additional terms and conditions imposed by the Registrar.
  12. Is my winery permitted to sell any non-liquor products (i.e. ancillary items) at Farmers’ Markets?
    Yes. Non-wine/cider products approved for sale at on-site winery retail stores (as outlined in the Winery Retail Store Information Guide) can be sold at occasional extensions of winery retail stores.
  13. Can multiple wineries sell their eligible wine together at one occasional extension of an on-site winery retail store? (i.e. cross-selling) No. Similar to how you are not permitted to sell other wineries’ products at your on-site retail store, only eligible wine made by the manufacturer may be sold at an occasional extension of an on-site retail store.
  14. What happens if a municipality objects to the sale of wine at a specific Farmers’ Market?
    Municipalities can prohibit the sale of eligible wine at any or all Farmers’ Markets within their jurisdiction at any time by providing a written objection to the Registrar. If a municipality informs the AGCO that it is objecting to the sale of wine at a specific Farmers’ Market, the AGCO will notify the winery that it must immediately cease selling wine at that market.
  15. Can a Farmers’ Market set further rules for the sale of wine?
    Farmers’ Market operators may set further rules for the sale of eligible wine within their Farmers’ Markets, as long as they do not contravene the AGCO’s regulatory framework as set out in the Liquor Licence Act and Regulations and Registrar policy.
  16. Who do I contact to sell my eligible wine at a specific Farmers’ Market?
    Each winery must make its own individual arrangements with specific Farmers’ Markets to sell their eligible wine. In addition, the winery must notify the AGCO of all Farmers’ Market locations, dates and hours where it plans to sell its eligible wine.
  17. Will the AGCO conduct inspections of eligible wine sales at Farmers’ Markets?
    The AGCO will conduct inspections of eligible wine sales at Farmers’ Markets as required.
  18. Who do I contact if I have any additional questions?
    Please send us an email at farmersmarkets@agco.ca or call customer service at 416-326-8700, or toll free at 1-800-522-2876. You can also submit your questions through iAGCO.

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