Allegrini 2018

Italian wine, green light for the decree on the single national “standard” of sustainability

For 2022 the procedures of the Sistema di Qualità Nazionale di Produzione Integrata (Sqnpi) apply, by 2023 the integration of the various systems
The future of wine is sustainable (ph: Paul Hanaoka via Unsplash)

Italian wine takes the decisive step towards the single standard of sustainability, long-awaited by the supply chain. “The national certification regulations for the sustainability of the wine sector have been approved. The decree, particularly awaited by all operators in the sector, systematizes the good practices and experiences conducted in the field of sustainability in the wine sector, through the various sustainable quality certification schemes operating at the national level”, announced yesterday late in the evening with a note from the Ministry of Agriculture. “The Italian wine sector, through the single sustainability standard, thus equips itself with a new intervention tool, aimed to guarantee a more sustainable viticulture and in line with the most recent guidelines contained in the various European strategies and declined by the new Common Agricultural Policy”. For the year 2022, the Ministry then specifies, the certification of viti-vinicultural sustainability will be started using the procedures and standards provided for by the Sistema di Qualità Nazionale di Produzione Integrata (Sqnpi), pending the completion of the integration process of the various systems, to be complete in the year 2023.
In any case, a decisive step forward, as underlined by the Undersecretary for Agricultural Policies (with responsibility for wine), Gian Marco Centinaio: “we have finally brought home a measure that was particularly awaited by the supply chain and which will allow Italian wine to have a further quality certification which also transforms into greater value capable of strengthening its international leadership. Thanks to the unique standard of sustainability, our country places itself at the forefront of other European countries, and beyond. Italy stands out once again for the quality of its products, good practices, innovation and respect for the planet”, concludes Centinaio. Also rejoicing is Filippo Gallinella, president of the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and first signatory of the amendment that established the unitary certification system for the sustainability of the wine sector.
“With the approval of the national certification specification for the sustainability of the wine supply chain by the Ministry of Agriculture, Italy is the first country to adopt an avant-garde system in step with the times. Through a distinctive logo, Italian wines will be able to certify and communicate that they are made following specific production rules that give importance and attention to the related environmental impacts. In this way - continues Gallinella - the path traced by the law that we wanted to introduce in the Relaunch Decree, which collects the work done in recent years by the entire wine supply chain in the wake of the main community strategies “Green Deal” and “Farm to Fork”. An added value for the national wine sector, the leader in the world, and a relevant factor for consumers and the market, even in this moment when it seems that issues relating to environmental sustainability have taken a back seat, in the face of dramatic international scenarios”. “Through the work of CoSVi (the Wine Sustainability Committee in which Mipaaf, Regioni, Crea, Accredia and, on an advisory basis, the producers participate) - adds Gallinella - the best practices to be followed in the field and in the cellar have been systematized to ensure respect for the environment, food quality and safety, the protection of workers and citizens and an adequate agricultural income. While waiting for the integration process of the various certification systems to be completed, the procedures and standards provided for by the Sqnpi will be used”.
Meanwhile, the first positive reactions of the supply chain arrive: “We welcome the announcement of the Ministry on the approval of a particularly awaited decree - declares Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President of Federdoc and Equalitas - a decree that finally puts good practices in the sustainability of the wine sector, creating a common starting point in line with the indications of the new Common Agricultural Policy. And I like to be able to underline how, from this base, a progressive, still evolving ideal scale starts, of which Equalitas is undoubtedly one step higher”.
“Italy is now the European leader of sustainable wine. The latest decree - relating to the national certification specification - signed yesterday by the Head of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies, Giuseppe Blasi, initiates a new fundamental chapter of growth for Italian wine, the first agri-food sector of the Old Continent to adopt of a public norm on sustainability”, is the comment of the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), “which scientifically contributed to the drafting of the plan”, and “is convinced that within 2-3 years the vast majority of wine companies will adhere to a protocol with stringent environmental, social and economic regulations that will prove to be decisive for the growth of the tricolor wine product brand in the world. Now it will be necessary to start working on the project immediately, also through the enhancement of the certification with a recognition logo”.
For the UIV general secretary, Paolo Castelletti, “a circle strongly desired by Italian companies in the sector has closed, which have never before recognized the importance of the issue as today. This is good news in an economic situation full of pitfalls for a regulation that, in addition to being an important market lever, appears to be consistent with the objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy. A virtuous circuit in a green key that will also be adopted in the reward systems within the regional development plans”. According to a Wine Intelligence survey carried out on a sample of 17,000 respondents in 17 countries, the Uiv note emphasizes, sustainably produced wines are, along with organic ones, at the top of preferences among the types of production that offer the greatest opportunities for growth. Among the countries with a greater consumer sensitivity towards sustainable wines, the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom - which also represent the top 3 in demand for Italian wine - but also the countries of Northern Europe, Switzerland, Brazil and Australia. New Zealand is the leading producer country in sustainable wines, with 96% of its product certified and a logo that distinguishes New Zealand green wines in the world.
With the provision fully operational, the public standard will be achieved through a specification based on the Sistema di Qualità Nazionale di Produzione Integrata (Sqnpi) in all Italian regions. For producers, there are unique rules regarding the use of agro pharmaceutical and good practices in the vineyard and in the cellar, but also - once certification has been achieved - a single and public logo recognizable to consumers.

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