Allegrini 2018

The SOStain Sicily Foundation is a protocol for wine sustainability, shared by producers

The main topics are water consumption, carbon footprint, weight of the bottle, safeguarding biodiversity, energy saving and farmers’ health
Alberto Tasca D’Almerita, head of the SOStain Sicilia Foundation

The system of practicing viticulture based on the principles of environmental, economic and social sustainability is becoming more and more virtuous, and it therefore became important to create the SOStain Sicily Foundation, which is yet another step forward for Sicily and green wine. Consequently, it is the first Italian region, unified and communal to have developed an integrated sustainability protocol, which started from the bottom; that is, from the needs of producers for producers. There are numerous aspects that the SOStain Program Disciplinary regulates, which an independent Scientific Committee developed and that the wineries must follow to be able to put the sustainability label on the bottle. The practices that will be examined will include measuring water consumption and carbon footprint, controlling the weight of the bottle, safeguarding the flora and fauna biodiversity and also enhancing local capital, energy saving and the health of farmers and consumers.
The Board of Directors of the Foundation is composed of 5 producers who represent the widely varied world of Sicilian wine. Giusepee Bursi represents the Cooperatives, Letizia Russo represents large companies, Arianna Occhipinti represents small companies oriented towards natural agriculture and bio dynamics, while Tasca d’Almerita and Planeta represent family businesses, and the president of the Board of Directors is Alberto Tasca d’Almerita. The main goal, therefore, is to involve as many players in the wine supply chain as possible, wineries from every corner of the region, including organic, biodynamic, and natural or of any other type, while providing the guidelines that must be respected and followed, as well as discussed and suggested. There will also be assistance from a group of technicians, in an open and on-going discussion between vintners and the scientific community, the interaction of which is aimed at offering clearer and more transparent tools to implement good farm management.
“I am absolutely thrilled”, commented Alberto Tasca, president of the Foundation, and member of the Board of the Consorzio Vini Doc Sicilia and Assovini Sicilia, “about the SOStain Sicilia Foundation. Sustainable management of the territories must now definitely be part of the future, where clear rules and structured research studies will be needed in order to put the best solutions in practice. The mission of the SOStain Sicilia Foundation is coordinating research and continuing to develop the SOStain protocol towards sustainable management of Sicilian wineries aimed at constantly improving. This is the approach we will adopt to deal not only with agriculture but also with all-around business management. The model will be applied to the wine sector as well as to all public and private organizations. As a matter of fact, what has been happening in Sicily for several years now can be defined as a real cultural revolution. We have learned to work utilizing a system, as well as to challenge ourselves on different matters by no longer using contradiction as a position, but rather as mutual growth”. Alberto Tasca’s words echo those of the president of the Consorzio Vini Doc Sicilia, Antonio Rallo. “I am quite satisfied with the result because one of the strengths naturally inherent in Sicilian wine is sustainability. Sicily has the largest organic vineyard in Italy - more than 75% of the vineyard area is cultivated according to integrated pest management practices - an enormous range of varieties, and a climate that is naturally suited to production sustainability. The SOStain Sicilia Foundation was created having in mind the purpose of enhancing this natural heritage, as well as encouraging and directing the wineries to undertake production dynamics based on measurements and reducing impacts. It is certainly a challenging, though now very important path for the future of our territory, and an inspiration for the upcoming generations”.

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