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Chilean wine industry certifies first 14 wineries under Wines of Chile’s Sustainability Code

 

Santiago, January 2012. “As we have established in the 2020 Strategic Plan, we are committed to become the number one producer of premium, sustainable and diverse wines from the New World by 2020. To achieve this goal it is imperative to create innovation that boosts our competitiveness. The development and implementation of Wines of Chile’s state-of-the-art Sustainability Code is a key pillar to achieve this objective”.

With these words, René Araneda, President of Wines of Chile, opened the ceremony that made official the Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile seal, Chile’s first sustainability certification.

Following the launching of the Sustainability Code in early 2011, the first fourteen wineries received this recognition after a rigorous assessment and inspection process. Wineries were certified on the Green Chapter of the Code, which relates to vineyard management processes and standards.  The Red Chapter (winery) and Orange Chapter (Social Responsibility) will be certified during 2012.

This first certification reflects the long-term committment towards environmentally friendly practices in the vineyard, with the aim to sustainably protect and manage natural resources. The methodology is based on a constant improvement of processes and ever-higher standards to be met. All these elements are greatly valued in markets that have gradually -but decisively- moved towards sustainably produced products.

From now on, Anakena, Arboleda, Caliterra, Casa Silva, Cremaschi Furlotti, Emiliana, Errázuriz, Montes, MontGras, Santa Cruz, Santa Ema, Santa Rita, Ventisquero and Vía Wines are entitled to use the “Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile” seal in their labels, bottles and promotional materials, being able to effectively communicate their commitment and work towards sustainable practices.

 

The performance of the certified wineries was outstanding. Despite of the high standards the Code sets, the approval average was 83%, which confirms that these vineyards had long been using rigorous vineyard management practices. The fourteen wineries represent 13% of Chile’s total vineyard surface, equivalent to 14,757 hectares, between the Regions of Valparaiso, O’Higgins, Maule, Bio-Bio, Araucanía, Los Lagos and Los Ríos, a promising first step, considering that an additional 24 wineries have already applied to be certified.

Chile’s Government, through the Minister of the Environment and the Under Secretary of Agriculture present at the launching, highlighted that the Chilean wine industry is an example to other sectors on how industries should work together to facilitate and encourage a responsible and sustainable development.

Juan Somavía, Managing Director of Wines of Chile, expressed that this Certification will help us to better communicate to our buyers and consumers around the world the commitment of Chile’s wine industry towards a sustainable development that fully integrates sustainable practices, corporate social responsibility and economic viability.

 

Wines of Chile’s Sustainability Code

The WoC Sustainability Code was developed specifically for the Chilean wine industry to set standards and provide a tool for measuring various sustainable practices throughout the entire winemaking value chain and comprises a set of initiatives and projects that aim to guide the industry toward sustainability, understood as the convergence of production processes that are environmentally friendly, socially equitable, and economically viable. Thus, the Code addresses the wine sector’s needs for sustainable practices in three areas –Vineyard (Green Chapter), Winery (Red Chapter), and Community (Orange Chapter), and provides a Checklist of control points to be evaluated and a Manual with recommendations for each control point.

ts comprehensive approach makes Wines of Chile’s Sustainability Code the most ambitious and comprehensive code among wine producing nations.

The code has three chapters: the green one, focused on the handling of natural resources, plagues in the vineyard, agrochemicals and industrial safety; the red one, focused on the energetic efficiency, water management, garbage, recycling and pollution prevention; and the orange one, focused on business ethics, environment, working conditions, relationship with the community, marketing and consumers.

Currently, the certification covers only the green stage and has a one-year validity. Chapters red and orange will be added to the certification during 2012 and the new certification will be valid for two years.

The requirement to the vineyards will progressively increase, going from 60% of the own surface incorporated to the system and 15% of rent surface to 75% and 25% by the end of 2016, to reach 90% and 40% in 2019. More vineyards are expected to join this process and be recognized as sustainable wines producers, a relevant part in the Strategy towards the 2020 plan.

 

The certification process and the status can be seen in www.sustentavid.org

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