On 15 September, for the first time, more than 40 key actors in the production and marketing of wine around the world have joined forces to accelerate action as sustainability challenges mount. The newly formed Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR) is a unique coalition of leading wine brands, small producers, distributors, retailers, environmental organisations, and others – all joined in their determination to make the wine sector a sustainability leader.
From drought to flooding, from rising temperatures and increased wildfires and social pressures around workers’ rights and diversity, the wine industry, like any other, has significant issues to tackle to ensure resilience, keep up with customer demands, and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Building on the many local sustainability standards for wine, the SWR will develop a global reference standard clarifying the wine community’s consensus on exactly what sustainability means and how it is implemented and measured. This will provide clear and credible guidance on how to get vineyards and wineries on the sustainability pathway and help retailers and consumers sort out the various eco-labels and claims.
The SWR is convening working groups to develop best practice and tools on substantive sustainability issues, raise awareness, connect industry actors, and advocate for the wine community globally as a force for good in the world. Richard Bampfield MW, the roundtable’s initial chair, said, “There are many innovative programs and projects to make vineyards and wineries more environmentally friendly and socially just. Our aim is to bring them together, generating the clarity, cohesion and collaboration necessary for the wine sector to establish itself as a leader on the world sustainability stage.” “We invite everyone in the wine community to join us,” Bampfield added, noting that the SWR will be open to general membership in 2022.
The SWR founding members include: Ahold Delhaize, Alko, Alliance Wine, Amfori, Amorim Cork, BLB Vignobles, British Glass, BSI, Catena Institute of Wine, Château Léoube, CIVB, Cloudy Bay, Concha y Toro, Diversity in Food and Beverage, Domaine Bousquet, Dr. Loosen, Enotria&Coe, Equalitas, Famille Perrin, Fish Friendly Farming, Food Alliance, Grupo Avinea, Hochschule Geisenheim University, International Wineries for Climate Action, JancisRobinson.com, Journey’s End Vineyards, Lidl GB, Napa Green, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, North South Wines, Preferred by Nature, Ramón Bilbao, Schenk Group, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Sustainable Agriculture Network, Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia, Systembolaget, The Co-op UK, The Fairtrade Foundation, The Porto Protocol, The Wine Society, Treasury Wine Estates, Vingruppen, Vintage Wine Estates, Waitrose & Partners, Whole Foods Market, Wines of South Africa, WWF South Africa.
This is an excerpt of the press release published by the SWR on 15 September at the occasion of its launch. The full press release is available here.