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.
Dr. Laura Catena, Catena Zapata Managing Director & Founder of Catena Institute of Wine said: “Our vision is to elevate our region for another 200 years and to do this, we need to preserve our ecosystem and our farming traditions. Over a decade ago we created the Sustainability Code for Argentina and today we focus the Catena Institute of Wine’s research into understanding our terroir, our plant selections and their ecosystem so that we might be able to preserve them for the generations to come. In light of our commitments, this is why we are delighted to join the SWR.”
Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President at Equalitas said: “Avoiding duplication for wine companies has been one of the objectives of Equalitas since the birth of the project. The partnership with the SWR goes in that direction and, after our efforts at a national level, we are eager to make our contribution to greater harmonisation on an international scale.”
Marcus Ihre, Sustainability Manager at Systembolaget said: “The wine industry needs to come together to define sustainability, develop a global standard, collaborate and work out how to talk to consumers. We at Systembolaget are happy to support this work as a founding member.” Anne Jones, Category Manager: Beers, Wines and Spirits at Waitrose & Partners said: “As a leading retailer, we know how important sustainability is to our customers. The SWR will be a great way for us to work with others to learn how we can all clarify sustainability messages for wine and drive change.”
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.
The SWR is a unique coalition – the only global, independent, nonprofit, multistakeholder roundtable built to include everyone in the sector, from producers to consumers. The SWR supports the wine community in creating a world where high quality wine is produced, traded, and consumed in ways that conserve and regenerate ecosystems, protect human rights, foster equality and inclusion, and generate prosperity, pride and passion for excellence. Our mission is to bring the global wine community together to achieve that vision. The SWR is hosted by Sustainable Wine Ltd, a mission-driven non-profit company set up to help make sustainability mainstream in the wine sector.
For further information on the SWR and membership enquiries, contact Tom Owtram – Outreach and Development Manager (Email: email@example.com) or go to www.swroundtable.org