Wine industry players unite to develop global sustainability standard

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

A unique coalition of leading wine brands, small producers, distributors, retailers, and environmental organisations from all over the world have teamed up to develop a global sustainability standard for the wine industry. 

Building on regional certifications, the new UK-headquartered organisation Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR) launches with 49 founding members, including LVMH-owned New Zealand winery Cloudy Bay, Concha y Toro of Chile, European supermarket group Ahold Delhaize, and Australia’s largest wine exporter Treasury Wine Estates. They say they are united in their commitment to make the wine sector a leader in sustainability.

The SWR’s first project will be to develop a consensus on what sustainability means among its diverse membership and how it will be implemented and measured. 

“There are many innovative programs and projects to make vineyards and wineries more environmentally friendly and social just,” explains Richard Bampfield MW, the roundtable’s inaugural chair. 

“Our goal is to bring them together to generate the clarity, cohesion, and collaboration necessary for the wine sector to establish itself as a leader on the world sustainability stage.”

The SWR plans to raise awareness around sustainability issues and develop best practices to address them. It will consider issues such as droughts, flooding, rising temperatures, wildfires and social pressures around workers’ rights and diversity. 

Anne Bousquet, co-owner of Domaine Bousquet, Argentina’s largest producer and exporter of certified organic wines, says climate change is a global problem that needs a global solution. 

“It’s common sense. As a trained economist, I firmly believe climate change must be combated with practical, implementable, and measurable global sustainability standards. With some of the best minds and leaders in the wine industry working together via the Sustainable Wine Roundtable, we can win the battle.”

She said two factors attracted Domaine Bousquet to become founding members of SWR: There is no greenwashing – because members must demonstrate continuous improvement themselves – and the membership reflects the diversity of the industry, from leading brands to small producers to distributors and retailers. 

“That diversity means the proposals will be refined by all the major sectors in the industry for a unified approach and workability in ‘the real world’,” she said.

SRW will open to general membership next year and Bampfield is encouraging everyone in the wine community worldwide to join the movement. 

The full list of founding members is: 

Ahold Delhaize
Alliance Wine
Amorim Cork
BLB Vignobles
British Glass
Catena Institute of Wine
Château Léoube
Cloudy Bay
Concha y Toro
Conseil Interprofessional du Vin de Bordeaux
Diversity in Food and Beverage
Domaine Bousquet
Dr. Loosen
Enotria & Coe
Famille Perrin
Fish Friendly Farming
Food Alliance
Grupo Avinea
Hochschule Geisenheim University
International Wineries for Climate Action
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
The Co-op UK
The Fairtrade Foundation
The Porto Protocol
The Wine Society
Treasury Wine Estates
Vintage Wine Estates
Waitrose & Partners
Whole Foods Market
Wines of South Africa
WWF South Africa

  • Main image: @Lucky7trader via Twenty20.
Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.

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