The majority of wine and grape producers are committed to the success of the South African Scheme for Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), but want the reassurance that this system is also internationally acceptable.

In collaboration with the SAWB, the Wine and Spirit Board has decided to amend the external technical audit of the system at cellars and farms to lend the system even more credibility. The following decisions were taken at a recent IPW/SAWB meeting:

  • The number of external IPW audits at cellars will be increased from 50 to 110 so that all IPW cellars can be visited/audited within a 5 year period.
  • The present number of 36 audits at farms will suffice, but an industry committee will investigate the cost-effective expansion hereof within industry structures.
  • An IPW certificate will in future only be sent to an IPW cellar if its account has been paid and it has submitted all completed self-evaluation forms to the IPW office.
  • The new “IPW Conformance Certificate” will be issued if an external audit has been passed.
  • Cellars may request to be audited in order to receive a “conformance certificate” at their own expense.
  • IPW resorts under the “South African National Standard 64” (SANS 64) which is currently being finalised and will enjoy the backing of an internationally accredited audit.
  • Remember that the true value of the IPW audit is to confirm that local grape and wine buyers purchase only IPW products to supply foreign demand. If a producer does not comply, he will not remain in business.

PROCEDURES, TIMELINES AND IPW AUDIT AS FROM 2005

The mechanics of the audit system are best understood by first looking at how registration and certification will take place under the Scheme as from 2005:

Registration and certification of farms and cellars

Mailing of accounts

Accounts are sent to all IPW cellars in March 2005 and are based on the 2003/2004 tonnage and number of producers. Independent wine farmers are invoiced directly as in the past.

Registration for IPW

Proof of registration is provided by means of a receipt to the farmer and/or cellar upon payment of the annual fee. Please remember: No payment – no registration.

Submission of IPW evaluation forms

Each IPW cellar is responsible for the submission of forms as explained under the heading “Self-audit” below.

IPW certificate

An IPW certificate is issued annually to farms and cellars, subject to the following conditions:

  • All the evaluation forms must be completed and submitted, as prescribed.
  • A score of 50% or more must be achieved.
  • In addition compliance with the following requirements is necessary in order to qualify, namely:
  • For farms:
  • No disallowed residues may occur in grapes.
  • Retention periods should not be exceeded.
  • No unregistered products may be used.

For cellars:

  • Grapes must be produced according to IPW.
  • No disallowed residues may occur in the wine.
  • Record-keeping, as prescribed, should be regularly updated.
  • Cellars must have written permission/permits/licences for the management of solid waste and waste water.
  • Failing compliance with any of the above-mentioned requirements, an acceptable plan of action must be submitted together with the evaluation form describing measures to be implemented to ensure compliance with the prescribed requirements. Guidelines for the completion of a plan of action for the management of waste water and solid waste have already been published and are available. Therefore the IPW certificate does not guarantee that the farm or cellar complies with all the IPW requirements, but it indicates that an acceptable plan of action is in place for the farm or cellar to accomplish this. A separate certificate may be issued if the farm or cellar complies with all the requirements (see IPW “Conformance Certificate” below).

Please note: Cellars are responsible for gathering and filing of relevant documentation applicable to farms who supplied grapes or wine to them during the vintage in question. For logistical reasons farm IPW certificates are mailed to the cellars. It is therefore extremely important for cellars to update their IPW farm members’ lists annually with Sawis [Suzette Vos at (021) 807-5712. This certificate is valid for one year only.

IPW “Conformance Certificate”

This certificate is issued only following a successful audit, provided that all the conditions set out under “Registration and certification of farms and cellars” above, have been met. Therefore the “IPW Conformance Certificate” guarantees that the farm or cellar was audited by an accredited IPW auditor and complied with all the requirements in question at a specific time.

The certificate is issued in English seeing that the term “conformance certificate” is an internationally accepted auditing term.
Please note: Any farm or cellar may request an audit upon payment of a fee.
Audit of the Scheme entails the following:

The purpose of IPW auditing is to ensure that the integrity of the Scheme is respected and that the evaluation forms and relevant documentation are correctly completed and verified.

Legislation: The “Scheme for Integrated Production of Wine” was published under the Liquor Products Act (Act 60 of 1989) on 6 November 1998, and resorts under the jurisdiction of the Wine and Spirit Board and the National Department of Agriculture. The Scheme formalises the guidelines and provides the legislative backing should it be required. Membership of the Scheme is voluntary, but as soon as a producer has joined, he is obliged to comply with the prescriptions of the Scheme.

Self-audit: A vital and core element of this system is the exercise of self-control. This means that each farm which subscribes to this system has to complete self-evaluation forms 1, 2A, 2B and 2C (see IPW guidelines) annually, to be controlled and filed by the cellar. The cellars in turn must also complete a self-evaluation form (Appendix 4 in the IPW guidelines) which is then faxed to the IPW Manager for filing with the IPW office.

Consequently the system functions on three levels, namely: the farm, the cellar and wine buyers, with each level’s documentation being checked by the following level. Participants must therefore comply in order to be able to sell their wine.

Technical audit: This aims to evaluate the extent to which producers comply with the IPW guidelines, based on the self-evaluation forms and all other supporting records/documentation. Audit inspections are conducted on a sample basis by the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij for 36 farms and by an independent environmental auditor (Enviroscientific) for at least 110 cellars per annum. This will ensure that each cellar is audited at least every five years. It also ensures that all the wine-growing areas are covered. An audit report is supplied to each farm or cellar and an overhead audit report is supplied annually to the IPW Manager. This report is available from him, but in future it will be placed on the IPW website.

Grape samples: Each year during the harvest 50 grape samples are taken across the entire wine industry. This is done by 18 Sawis inspectors who take a sample from a load of grapes at a cellar at a specific moment, and then transport it to a private laboratory under refrigerated conditions. Here it is analysed for spraying products according to a multi-residu method and the results are available within 48 hours. Although 50 samples are not much, everyone in the industry is aware of this practice and it helps the farmer to heed IPW prescriptions and abstention periods when using spraying products.

Wine samples: About 2 500 samples of wines intended for certification or export are analysed annually by the National Department of Agriculture for the presence of spraying residues by applying the same multi-residue method as for grapes. The analysis also tests for heavy metals and other possible contaminants in a large number of wines sampled for other audit purposes.

Results: So far neither unregistered products nor registered products have been encountered in grape samples at an excessive concentration. In the 2002/2003 season, for example, two samples were encountered with spraying residues. The products were registered, however, and the concentration was within the legal residue limits. So far no wines have been encountered that have exceeded the legal limits.

Additional external audits: It is very easy for buyers to check the documentation. All producers know that buyers at all levels will look for this documentation and realise that it will be impossible for him/her to sell his/her wine unless it complies with IPW requirements.

CRITERIA FOR CERTIFICATION OF IPW FARM AND CELLAR AUDITORS

To maintain the integrity of the Scheme for Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), the 36 farms and 110 cellars are audited annually in terms of the criteria required to fill in the evaluation forms as set out in the IPW guidelines (available on the IPW website).

The Wine and Spirit Board (WSB) may accredit auditors with acceptable qualifications and relevant experience as IPW auditors and issue them with a certificate. The criteria for certification of auditors will be amended on an ongoing basis, if required, by the Board.

Contact and all other details on www.ipw.co.za.

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