Launch of the SWR Global Reference Framework

By Tom Owtram

Benchmarking sustainability standards in wine: Creating the ultimate, global guide to navigating sustainability in wine 

On November 8th, the Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR) was delighted to launch the ‘SWR Global Reference Framework’ in front of a virtual audience of more than 120 wine professionals. You can listen to the audio below.


At present there are as many as 70 sustainability standards globally with relevance to the wine industry. The sheer number of wine sustainability standards causes confusion since there is no straightforward way of seeing how they compare with one another. The GRF has been developed to ensure that the wine sector is able to address the confusion that exists and enable a transparent cross-comparison of all of these existing standards. It is the first definitive statement of what ‘sustainable wine’ means. The GRF:

  • Builds on knowledge and insight of existing standards in wine, and of industry bodies like OIV and FIVS.
  • Incorporates analysis of sustainability requirements in other similar sectors and products like consumer goods, for example palm oil and cocoa.
  • Considers the whole wine supply chain. To date, most attention on sustainability in wine has focused on practices in vineyard and winery. The GRF also considers factors such as packaging and logistics.

Over the next 15 months, the SWR will use the GRF to benchmark existing wine sustainability standards, which will provide huge benefit to the whole of the wine value chain:

For retailers: This benchmark will, for the first time, allow retailers to make direct comparisons between the claims made by different sustainability standards that exist in wine. This will allow them to communicate better on sustainability with their customers, and with their buying teams.

For growers: Those growing grapes and making wine which certify to one or more standards will be better able to understand how the certification they have chosen is regarded by others in the supply chain, and to demonstrate the credibility of those standards.

For Standards Owners: These organisations will be able to better understand how they compare with others, where they lead in what they require, and what gaps may exist which need to be addressed.

Discover the GRF’s press coverage by reading featured articles from Decanter and the Wine Industry Advisor.

To read the SWR Global Reference Framework –  Benchmarking Sustainability Standards in Wine: Click Here

To read the SWR International Press Release: Click Here

To support the next phase of work, please read the GRF funding proposal: Click Here

If any wine business or organisation associated with wine are interested in learning more about the SWR or getting actively involved, they should contact Tom Owtram, General Manager –

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About the author

Tom Owtram
SWR General Manager

Tom Owtram is the General Manager of the Sustainable Wine Roundtable. Having studied a master’s degree in international sustainability management in Berlin and Paris, Tom was part of the founding committee which led to the formation of the SWR and he has since managed all aspects of the organisation’s growth.