The South African wine industry claims to have launched the world’s first sustainability seal that guarantees eco-friendly production and bottle provenance.
Intended for bottled wines only, the seal which is issued by the Wine and Spirit Board has a tracking system that can now trace bottle contents back to source at every stage of the supply chain.
The seal is a continuation of the local wine industry’s pioneering approach to sustainable wine growing and winemaking and further aims to confirm the integrity of production by giving each seal a unique number, through which the wine’s provenance can be tracked from vine to bottle.
The seal is the result of collaboration between the Wine & Spirits Board, IPW, as well as the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) and Wines of South Africa (WOSA) with the generic marketing body responsible for the worldwide launch of the concept as part of its Brand South Africa campaign.
Effective from 2010, the voluntary system is available to those wineries to have passed the accreditation of the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) set of sustainable principles, at farm, winery and bottling levels.
Wines of South Africa, chief executive officer, Sue Birch said it is expected to give another boost to the country’s already widely recognised international lead in the production integrity of wine. “Although other countries are introducing similar initiatives on a limited scale, at this stage South Africa is the only country to have the means to implement and certify the concept across the entire wine industry.
Regular spot-checks by independent auditors will be conducted to ensure guidelines are complied with at all levels.