“Given that wine has long been marketed as a natural product, it is of little surprise that this industry has been one of the first agricultural sectors to embrace the concept of sustainability, particularly to evoke in consumers a feeling that wine is a natural product and not industrially manufactured.”
So wrote Roger Kerrison, a consultant who works in the food and beverage industry in the fields of design, development, systems and management in sustainability for Asia Pacific consultancy Aura Sustainability.
“In New Zealand, where our head offices are based, there is a strong industry approach toward promoting wines as ‘sustainable.’ There is now an industry-wide environmental management program in place, and there are efforts to ensure that much of the industry is certified to this program. New Zealand’s lead has seen similar programs put in place in other world wine regions such as California, Oregon, South Africa and Australia.
“The wine industry is working to recognize initiative in areas such as organic production, bio-dynamics, carbon labeling and packaging innovation. This leading approach by the wine industry is to be applauded, but we need to bear in mind that sustainability is not just about the environment, it’s about social and economic impacts as well.”
Tomorrow: The special Sauvignon Blanc and other varieties of New Zealand’s Marlborough region.