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Sustainability Initiatives in the Global Wine Industry

Ann Thrupp, Fetzer and CSWA With information from Karen Ross, CA Association of Winegrape Growers

Sustainability : A broad concept, often viewed as a goal Sometimes called the “Triple Bottom Line”

Economically Viable

Socially Responsible

Environmentally sound

Ensuring viability over time…benefiting current & future generations

Concepts of Sustainable & Organic Agriculture
Some people perceive these concepts on a linear continuum…



Biointensive IPM






However, this linear perspective is somewhat narrow.

An alternative view reveals more complexity …

The Sustainability Concept
Relationships between Organic & Sustainable Agriculture & Other Concepts

Sustainable Agriculture

Biodynamic Integrated Pest/Crop Management

“Sustainable” winegrowing is a much broader concept, which includes many dimensions (to be explained)

Interest in Sustainability: Growing Global Trend
• Global & local challenges: Environmental degradation, climate change, resource scarcity, pollution, health threats, population growth, urbanization, etc.

• Growing involvement in sustainable development & sustainable agriculture among governments

• Growing investment in sustainable business and in manufacturing, food/ag, service, energy, transport, and other sectors; many involved in certification and labeling


- Pioneers like Ben & Jerry’s, Body Shop, Interface, etc. - Multinat’l corporations also jumping on the green bandwagon… such as Starbucks, Dole, Nestle, Unilever, Walmart, MacDonalds, Toyota, Ford, Hitachi, GM, BP, etc…

Why? Multiple Forces Behind Change







Sustainability Initiatives In the International Wine Industry
• Australia’s “Sustaining Success” Strategy • New Zealand Winegrowing Program • South Africa’s Integrated Production of Wine System (IPW) • European Programs on Sustainability • U.S. Initiatives – Especially the CA Sustainable Winegrowing Program • FIVS (international wine industry trade association) also recognizes sustainability principles

Australia’s “Sustaining Success” Strategy • Cooperative Research Centre of Viticulture (CRCV) – R&D Organization established in 1992 – Programs include: • Sustainable Vineyard Systems • • An Education Program Viticare Program for Extension & Research • Drafting chapters on soil, pest,

Australia’s “Sustaining Success” Strategy
• Environmental Management System (EMS) Program includes:

– – – – – –

• Gov’t funding to support research on sustainable

Water Use Management Chemical & Pesticide Management Soil & Fertilizer Management Equipment, Vehicle & Machinery Waste Management Vineyard Establishment Biodiversity

New Zealand Winegrowing Program
• In 1995-1996, a working group of growers and industry representatives developed a pilot “Integrated Winegrowing Program” – Began with 5 vineyards – In 1997, after receiving a $150,000 & additional support, program grew to include 120 vineyards – In 2003, more than 300 members representing 60% of the vineyard

New Zealand Winegrowing Program “Integrated Winegrowing Program” – Positive Points System for vineyards & wineries – Self Audit Scorecard – reports for participants – 77 Questions • Negative Impact or Unsustainable Scores 0 to -10 Points • Sustainable Practice Scores 10 Points

South Africa’s Integrated Production of Wine System

IPW Programs for both grapes and wine (multiple practices for vineyards and winery operations) • Certification Program & training program • Points System • 99% of South Africa’s wine production participates in the program South Africa also has a strong

European Programs on Sustainability
Many Regional Programs – examples include:

• European Integrated Production (IP) Standards • Viticulture Raisone’e in Champagne Goals include:

– Participation of 15,000 farmers in region Reduction in use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides & fungicides by

Sustainable Winegrowing Initiatives in California
• Strong Initiatives in the Winegrape industry to promote & expand sustainable practices – Regional: CCVT, LWWC, SCGGA, NSWG, etc. • State: Code of Sustainable Practices – Initiated by CAWG, WI, CSWA, collaborating regional groups, wineries and vineyards – Self-evaluation and education aimed to encourage adoption of a wide diversity of sustainable practices – Results: high level of participation in the SWP, increasing adoption of sustainable practices

Centerpiece of the SWP – The Workbook ** Release of – Second Edition of the “Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices” **

Practices Included in the “Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices” for Vineyards & Wineries From Ground to Glass” – Total of 227 criteria • Viticulture • Soil Management • Vineyard Water Management • Pest Management • Wine Quality • Ecosystem Management • Energy Efficiency • Winery Water Conservation & Quality • Material Handling • Solid Waste Reduction • Environmentally preferred purchasing • Human Resources • Neighbors & Community • Air Quality added in ‘06

SelfAssessment workshops

Self Assess

Customized Reports

Implement Change
Action Plan

SWP Cycle of Continuous Improvement

Interpret Performance
Targeted Education Workshops

Develop Action Plan to Improve

Growing Participation in SWP Self-Assessment
• 1,165 wineries & vineyards have attended close to 100 SWP self-assessment workshops from 2002 to now. • These participants represent:  33% of total CA vineyard area (over 171,000 acres)  53% of case value of CA wine (143.8 million cases) These numbers demonstrate, since 2004:

• 24% increase in the number of participants • 23% increase in vineyard acreage • 19% increase in wine case production

Targeted Education Workshops
• Since 2004, SWP has held 88 educational events that target areas in need of improvement • These workshops have reached over 5,000 growers and vintners
• They cover many sustainable practices, e.g:
– – – – Integrated Pest Management Air and Water Quality Ecosystem Management, and Energy Efficiency

Interest in California SWP from other Winegrape Associations • Washington State Association of
Winegrape Growers • • • • Oregon Wine Advisory Board New York Wine & Grape Foundation Penn State Cooperation Extension Canadian Vintners Association

Certification & Ecolabel Initiatives for “Sustainable” Winegrowing
• Organic and Biodynamic – 3rd party certification • Salmon Safe – 3rd party certification of BMPs & environmental practices, and has label (mainly in Oregon) • Oregon LIVE – sets standards; collaboration with Salmon Safe • The Food Alliance – has vineyard standards, not on wine labels • Napa Green – certification of BMPs for vineyards, but no label • Sonoma Green Business- sets standards; 51 wineries certified • Fish-Friendly Farming program (no label)

New Certification Initiatives
(related to winegrowing)
• CA Winegrowers Regions have become involved in developing ecolabel or certification initiatives – LWWC (“Lodi Rules”), CCVT • Individual wineries: eg, Gallo of Sonoma Sustainable Management Systems “Certification” (WPS, ISO14001); Benziger developing standards for its growers; others considering ideas too? • Protected Harvest: Working with CA commodities and growers to certify, label and market produce grown according to sustainable ag standards

Lessons Learned: What makes the SWP unique and effective? (Key Elements)
• Active participation of growers & vintners, and many stakeholders, in all parts of the program. • Comprehensive in scope: The SWP addresses three interlinked environmental, economic and equity goals; using a systems approach: • Building bridges – between environmental and agricultural interests –win-win solutions. • Innovative measurement system- transparent reporting of the results to the public. • Marketing advantage. • Setting a good example, serving as a model globally for socially responsible wine production

Contact Information
Ann Thrupp,
Manager of Sustainability, Fetzer Vineyards & consultant, CA Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
tel 707-272-1152,

And Karen Ross, CA Association of Winegrape Growers