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Allegrini 2018
MARKETS AND COMPETITIVENESS

Italy one step away from a single national sustainability standard for wine

The draft of the Ministerial Decree, analyzed by WineNews, is ready and it would only need the approval by the State-Regions Conference
ITALY, Ministry of Agricultural Policies, SUSTAINABILITY, WINE, News
Sustainability of wine, an increasingly central element of competitiveness in the markets

The chaos of politics these days, has obviously slowed down even the work on those measures that were at an advanced stage. Such as the decree of the Ministry of Agriculture (now ruled ad interim by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, after the resignation of Teresa Bellanova, waiting for the new Minister, which will be the tenth, excluding the interim, from 2006 to date, ed) that will establish the rules for the “certification system of sustainability of the wine industry”, or a single national standard and official invoked several times in recent years by much of the industry, both to put order in what, over the years, has become almost a forest of different protocols and certifications, and to give the sector an official tool not only to monitor and enhance the good practices of sustainable agriculture and production that, in the world of wine, for many companies, are now the norm, but also to tell the markets, where the issue of sustainability is one of the most present and important. This is a ministerial decree, and therefore will not need to be passed through Parliament once it has received the green light from the Conference of State and Regions. Which, barring surprises, should be almost taken for granted, given that the Regions themselves have contributed concretely to its drafting.
From the draft analyzed by WineNews, however, some firm points emerge:< if one of the knots still to be unraveled and on which work has been going on for some time is that, purely technical, of the convergence between the most important and widespread protocols, such as, Viva of the Ministry of the Environment, the only public wine sustainability protocol, and the main private protocols, and in particular that of Equalitas (born from an initiative of Federdoc and Unione Italiana Vini, and in whose social structure the certification bodies Csqa, leader in agribusiness, and Valoritalia, no. 1 in wine, as well as Gambero Rosso and 3AVino, a company specialized in wine finance, then entered. 1 in wine, as well as Gambero Rosso and 3AVino, a company specializing in wine finance), to define the specification of wine sustainability, to verify it (at least annually) to update it and to coordinate the monitoring will be the Cosvi-Vine Sustainability Committee, whose members (who will not receive compensation or reimbursement of expenses) will come from the Ministry of Agriculture (2) and the Ministry of Environment (1), which will also appoint an expert each, but there will also be 6 representatives designated by the State-Regions Conference, two experts from Crea, a representative for each of the main agricultural and wine organizations, and an expert representing agricultural technicians.
The certification system, then, as written in Article 1 of the draft decree, “uses the methods and procedures of the National Quality System of Integrated Production”, and adherence, clearly, remains voluntary and “can be made by individual or associated companies”.
Beyond the technical aspects fixed in a draft that, however, appears to be well defined, what is important, now more than ever, is the timing of a work that has been underway for some time, that has involved many stakeholders in the supply chain, and that is close to being completed. A step that everyone hopes will not remain blocked for too long by the political fetters that the country is experiencing in these weeks, depriving Italian wine of what could be an important official tool of competitiveness on the markets of the world in which, all researches say, sustainability is a key factor even in purchasing choices, and in the recognition of a greater added value to wine: according to a recent research by Porsche Consulting, a consulting agency linked to the famous car brand, the sustainability of a wine can lead to a “premium price” 50% higher.

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