The Sustainable Wine Roundtable: Collaborating to drive transformational change in wine

By Hanna Halmari

Sustainable Wine is proud to announce the launch of the Sustainable Wine Roundtable (SWR), the only global, independent, non-profit, multi stakeholder roundtable built to accelerate sustainability in the wine industry. 

The wine sector, like any other, faces mounting social and environmental sustainability challenges. From drought and flooding, rising temperatures and increased wildfires, to social pressures around workers’ rights and diversity, the challenges are significant and the need for urgent action is clear. The SWR is committed to creating a world where high quality wine is produced, traded, and consumed in ways that conserve and regenerate ecosystems, protect human rights, foster equality and inclusion, and generate prosperity, pride and passion for excellence.

This unique coalition, supported by 40+ founding members, brings together leading wine brands, small producers, distributors, retailers, environmental organisations, and all others with the shared vision of making the wine sector a sustainability leader. As a member-driven organisation, the SWR is committed to ensuring a balance of participation from producers to consumers so that key issues and standards are tackled holistically and practically.

Building on the many local sustainability standards for wine, the SWR will develop a global reference standard clarifying the wine community’s consensus on exactly what sustainability means and how it is implemented and measured. This will provide clear and credible guidance on how to get vineyards and wineries on the sustainability pathway and help retailers and consumers sort out the various eco-labels and claims.

The SWR is convening working groups to develop best practice and tools on substantive sustainability issues, raise awareness, connect industry actors, and advocate for the wine community globally as a force for good in the world.

Richard Bampfield MW, the roundtable’s initial chair, said, “There are many innovative programs and projects to make vineyards and wineries more environmentally friendly and socially just. Our aim is to bring them together, generating the clarity, cohesion and collaboration necessary for the wine sector to establish itself as a leader on the world sustainability stage.”

“We invite everyone in the wine community to join us,” Bampfield added, noting that the SWR will be open to general membership in 2022. You can find more information on becoming a general member here

Dr. Laura Catena, Catena Zapata Managing Director & Founder of Catena Institute of Wine said:

 “Our vision is to elevate our region for another 200 years and to do this, we need to preserve our ecosystem and our farming traditions. Over a decade ago we created the Sustainability Code for Argentina and today we focus the Catena Institute of Wine’s research into understanding our terroir, our plant selections and their ecosystem so that we might be able to preserve them for the generations to come. In light of our commitments, this is why we are delighted to join the SWR.”

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President at Equalitas said:

 “Avoiding duplication for wine companies has been one of the objectives of Equalitas since the birth of the project. The partnership with the SWR goes in that direction and, after our efforts at a national level, we are eager to make our contribution to greater harmonisation on an international scale.” 

Marcus Ihre, Sustainability Manager at Systembolaget said: 

“The wine industry needs to come together to define sustainability, develop a global standard, collaborate and work out how to talk to consumers. We at Systembolaget are happy to support this work as a founding member.” 

Anne Jones, Category Manager: Beers, Wines and Spirits at Waitrose & Partners said:

“As a leading retailer, we know how important sustainability is to our customers. The SWR will be a great way for us to work with others to learn how we can all clarify sustainability messages for wine and drive change.” 

The launch of the SWR has been possible thanks to the support of its 40+ founding members, all of whom possess a significant organisational pledge to sustainability and have committed to dedicate their time, expertise, and finance to the development of the roundtable. The SWR founding members include: 

Ahold Delhaize, Alko, Alliance Wine, Amorim Cork, BLB Vignobles, British Glass, BSI, Catena Institute of Wine, Château Léoube, Cloudy Bay, Concha y Toro, Diversity in Food and Beverage, Domaine Bousquet, Dr. Loosen, Enotria&Coe, Equalitas, Famille Perrin, Fish Friendly Farming, Food Alliance, Grupo Avinea, Hochschule Geisenheim University, International Wineries for Climate Action, JancisRobinson.com, Journey’s End Vineyards, 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, Systembolaget, The Co-op UK, The Fairtrade Foundation, The Porto Protocol, The Wine Society, Treasury Wine Estates, Vingruppen, Vintage Wine Estates, Waitrose & Partners, Whole Foods Market, Wines of South Africa, WWF South Africa. 

For further information on the SWR and membership enquiries, please find contact details below:

Tom Owtram – Outreach and Development Manager (tom@sustainablewine.co.uk)

Website: www.swroundtable.org

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About the author

Hanna Halmari
Editor

Hanna Halmari is the editor at Sustainable Wine and a project director at Innovation Forum. Hanna specialises in sustainability research and events across various industries. She holds an MSc in international development from Kings’s College London, where she developed a strong interest in political economy and post-communist transformation. Hanna speaks Finnish, Bulgarian and English. In her spare time she is a dedicated Radio Lollipop volunteer at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, enjoys travelling, and tasting new wines.