The new sustainability seal for South Africas wine companies

The new sustainability seal for South Africa's wine companies

The South African Wine and Spirit Board has launched a “sustainability seal” for the country's wine producers.

The organisation issued the seal, which is limited to wineries with Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) accreditation, late last month. Effective from the 2010 vintage, the voluntary scheme allows wineries with IPW accreditation to “show their commitment to protecting the environment and producing wine in harmony with nature”.

The label, intended for bottled wine only, is backed by a tracking system that can trace the contents of the bottle back to source, at any stage of the supply chain, to “confirm the integrity” of the respective wine firms' production, the board said.

Around 50% of South Africa's wine producers are expected to make use of the seal for the 2010 vintage, according to the board, with that figure projected to increase to 80% by 2011.

“Although other countries are introducing similar initiatives ... , at this stage South Africa is the only country that has the means to implement and certify the concept across the entire industry,” said Su Birch, CEO of Wines of South Africa.

IPW accreditation was introduced in South Africa in 1998.