RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES (SDGS) AND THE WINE SECTOR


Written by Karen Vega, Business Development Specialist.

 


Times are hard all over the world because of the social, health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. In these times of great uncertainty and in this critical economic situation, the wine sector, along with other agricultural sectors, will have to intensify their environmental efforts in line with the European Green Pact and the ‘From Farm to Fork’ and Biodiversity strategies.

The European Green Pact establishes an action plan for:

  • Encourage efficient use of resources by promoting practices towards a clean and circular economy.
  • Restore biodiversity and reduce pollution.

Many winegrowers and their cooperatives have been strengthening their sustainability policies in recent years, placing great emphasis on the mitigation of their emissions. Viticulture is an essential part of rural ecosystems and offers a range of benefits that go far beyond wine production. However, in order to achieve the objectives of the European Green Pact, viticulture must have the opportunity to invest in the protection of its natural resources and have adequate guidance and support from government institutions.

Among the main advantages and benefits of the implementation of sustainable practices are: increased energy efficiency, access to specific financing programs for sustainable products, improved commercial image, mitigation of economic risks due to future legislation, transparency and increased confidence of their stakeholders and cost optimization throughout the value chain.

Main SDGs involved in the wine sector:

Companies can have a great positive impact on society by promoting responsible consumption and a healthier lifestyle. On the other hand, they must also improve working conditions throughout the labor chain, ensuring the physical and emotional integrity and safety of their workers.
Promote and invest in content of interest related to the wine sector and sustainable lifestyles to ensure access to employees with skills that meet future business needs.
Also the realization of internal training plans that help to improve the awareness and efficiency of employees.
On the one hand, implement training and support programs and, on the other hand, invest in the integration of technology into agricultural systems as a key facilitator to create opportunities for women to participate in viticulture and at the same time fulfill family responsibilities.
Apply precise agricultural technologies that enhance productivity and minimize water use. This includes drip irrigation systems, water quality control, efficient crop rotation and field application methods, waste control, efficient use of water both for grape washing and at the infrastructure level, etc. This also enhances the resilience of the sector to imminent climatic variations such as drought.
Sustainable initiatives in the wine sector include the adoption of measures that ensure decent, fair and inclusive work: fair labour contracts, flexible working hours, breaks, eradication of child labour. On the other hand, especially in these difficult times, we must promote the creation of synergies with other sectors such as tourism and hotels.

From the point of view of infrastructure, seek investment to support the development of agriculture and markets that include water, connectivity/technology, roads, storage logistics, etc. In this way, the social and technological occupation and development of agricultural areas is promoted.

Wine, being an agricultural product with high added value, is an economic activity that contributes significantly to the establishment of population in rural areas. Its good practices can safeguard the natural heritage of the surrounding areas, promote urbanization and transport plans, improve air quality in the surrounding communities, etc.

Organic farming is the most responsible way to produce food. It is necessary to put in value the commitment to ecological viticulture and sustainable production: to promote recycling, the reuse of organic material either in the manufacture of compost or in the generation of energy from biomass, etc.

Reducing the environmental footprint by implementing new practices and technologies such as the use of renewable energy, reduction of logistic flow, optimization of water use, reduction of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, among others. On the other hand, the cultivation hectares are also used for projects to fight climate change such as CO2 sequestration.

 

The absence of systemic pesticides and herbicides allows and favors a rich variety of both plant cover and insects and birds in the organic vineyard.

 

 

David Poveda