WFA announces scheme to highlight winemakers’ green credentials

Australian winemakers and grape growers now have a formal way to highlight their green credentials through the EntWine Australia scheme, developed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and industry.

EntWine Australia is a voluntary national environmental assurance scheme that requires companies to have their practices certified and independently audited and to report annually in relation to their carbon footprint and a number of specified indicators. The scheme was officially launched in Adelaide on Monday by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, The Hon Tony Burke.

“This is a really important initiative that showcases the wine industry’s determination to meet modern expectations about environmental stewardship,” said WFA’s chief executive, Stephen Strachan.

“Those who meet or exceed the standards will be able to carry the nationally endorsed EntWine Australia logo and will be listed on a publicly accessible online register.

“By 2014 we aim to have all Australian export wine achieving this standard. “Feedback from industry has been positive. There is a growing realisation that this is something we have to do if Australian wines are to keep meeting consumer and retailer demands.”

EntWine Australia was developed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia in consultation with industry. Pilot studies were supported by Foster’s, Orlando Wines, McWilliam’s Wines, De Bortoli, Sitella Wines, Voyager Estate, Winemakers of Rutherglen and the Langhorne Creek Grapegrowers’ Association.

“We have created a comprehensive but flexible system which recognises that some companies and some wine regions are already well advanced in setting and meeting environmental standards,” Mr Strachan said. “Wineries and grape growers can adopt our certification scheme but we also will recognise other approaches that meet our criteria.”

WFA’s certification scheme is based on the national Freshcare Environmental Code and includes requirements for improvements and the development of new initiatives in such areas as water and energy use. Mr Strachan said WFA was working through the international alcoholic beverage trade association FIVS to ensure EntWine Australia was recognised internationally.

The scheme formally begins this week with the commissioning of the EntWine Australia website which companies will use to apply for membership and provide annual updates of their performance. As certification can take some time, preliminary membership will be offered to companies that meet other requirements and are working towards certification. Preliminary members will be listed on the register.

EntWine Australia has been developed over the past four years with funding support from the Federal Government through the Caring For Our Country program.

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