Second year into the pilot, the provincial government’s program to allow the sale of VQA wine in farmers’ markets is now underway. Economic and tourism gains and convenience may be had by this change but at what cost?
In just the first year of the program, over 100 additional “alcohol outlets” emerged at farmers’ market locations throughout Ontario. Alcohol health policy experts have long been calling for limits to alcohol availability to reduce negative health and safety impacts. Contrarily, the current political and social attitude has been towards more and more alcohol access in the province.
OPHA is sending letters
to all Ontario municipalities and farmers’ market organizers outlining potential harms and harm reduction strategies related to alcohol sale. The newly created OPHA fact sheets
on Alcohol Pricing, Alcohol Availability and Alcohol Advertising were also included in the mail out.