WINE LEADS THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR IN SUSTAINABILITY
A ground-breaking international conference on the sustainability programs of the world wine industries was held in Santiago, Chile on 19 October 2011. Hosted by Vinos de Chile and the government of Chile, the seminar was an initiative of the World Wine Trade Group.
An expert panel of wine sustainability thought leaders from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France, New Zealand, the United States, and South Africa came together to discuss their national and regional sustainability programs and to seek a path forward to ensure the wine sector continues its leadership in the world of sustainable production.
In summing up the outcome, conference organizer Elena Carretero said, “This seminar has highlighted the wine sector’s strong commitment to sustainability. Many wine-producing countries and regions have developed sustainability programs that allow the wine sector to measure, monitor, and manage the environmental and social aspects of our business and ensure continuous improvement in our practices. The wine sector must continue to lead the world in sustainability for our countries and for our customers.”
Although the sustainability programs presented to the 200-strong audience were structured to address their regional and national circumstances, they share many common elements as well as a common objective of improving wine quality while at the same time reducing their impact on the environment and ensuring social responsibility.
All participants agreed on the importance of common principles for sustainability programs. “Principles create a baseline for sustainability programs across the wine sector, delivering a better result for the environment, communities and for consumers” said Carreterro.
One of the major results of this conference organized by Vinos de Chile was the establishment of a multinational Wine Sustainability Committee to build on the strong initiatives already in place in the wine sector.
Vinos de Chile is the Chilean Wine Trade Organization that represents 104 wineries, comprising 95% of Chilean bottled wine exports.
The World Wine Trade Group is an informal group of government representatives with a mutual interest in facilitating the international trade in wine and avoiding the application of obstacles to international trade in wine. Members are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States of America (with Brazil participating as an observer). Encouraging and coordinating sustainability programs has been an important part of the WWTG agenda since 2002.