New arrangements for the management of the wine industry’s national environmental assurance program have been announced today with management of Entwine Australia transferring from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) to the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI).
The Entwine program has grown to include more than 700 vineyard and winery members since launching in 2009.
WFA CEO Paul Evans said “This is an opportunity to refresh the approach to improving the industry’s environmental performance and how we collaborate with others on letting the world know of our successes.”
“The timing is right to transfer the future management of Entwine Australia to the AWRI which is well placed to ensure research and innovations in environmental management are incorporated into the industry’s behaviours and practices,” he said.
“Under the AWRI’s stewardship our national assurance program can embrace innovation to encourage higher participation rates in the regions and better integration with our global marketing efforts.
“More broadly, the changes to Entwine’s management will also be a timely opportunity for the industry to assess and implement the outcomes of the recent national Entwine Refresh consultation and how we can partner with regions to provide wine businesses with relevant tools to drive better practices and reporting.
“The decision also reflects WFA’s focus on its core roles of policy development and advocacy. While WFA will retain its leadership role in progressing environmental policy and will remain strongly engaged in the issues with the support of the Wine Industry National Environment Committee, we now believe the AWRI has the right people and expertise to build on a strong foundation and grow participation and our reputation in Australia and internationally. The WFA Board will review the transition of Entwine to the AWRI at its September meeting and going forward to ensure these goals are being supported.”
Managing Director of the AWRI, Dr Dan Johnson said, “This is an exciting opportunity for the industry, and complements a suite of environmental and viticultural projects at the AWRI. The AWRI team looks forward to enhancing Entwine’s offering to ensure its ongoing value to grape and wine businesses and to working more closely with Australian grapegrowing regions.”
Executive Director of Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA), Lawrie Stanford, acknowledged the importance of environmental sustainability to Australia’s grape growing businesses and welcomed this next step for the Entwine program. He also noted the recent contracting of the AWRI by WGGA to conduct national biosecurity arrangements on its behalf, saying, “The synergies at the AWRI, between WGGA’s biosecurity activities and the Entwine environmental program will deliver significant benefits to Australia’s winegrape growers.”
Tom Harvey, Chairman of McLaren Vale Grape, Wine and Tourism Association (MVWGTA) - which has developed the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program - also welcomed the announcement and said “Australia’s international sales performance is in part affected by our ability to articulate our environmental credentials and best practice viticultural performance, to both buyers, media commentators and potential consumers across the globe.”
Clare Hamilton-Bate, Executive Officer of Freshcare, the on-farm assurance program that provides training, implementation support and certification services to many businesses in the wine grape sector, through the Freshcare Environmental-Viticulture and Freshcare Environmental-Winery Programs, also welcomed the move.
"A closer linkage to the research and development work that underpins environmental best practice is key in encouraging sustainable production. With the move to the AWRI, the Entwine Program will be ideally placed to provide that linkage to participating businesses".
"Freshcare has worked closely with the team at WFA since the launch of Entwine in 2009; the move to the AWRI heralds a new and exciting phase of development - underpinning the future of the program and supporting environmental sustainability in the wine industry."
The Entwine Australia program provides Australian winemakers and wine grape growers with formal recognition of their environmental practices according to recognised international standards. To qualify for membership, companies must be certified against an approved, independently audited environmental management system and report annually against a set of defined resource use indicators.
The AWRI will take over the day to day running of the program from July 2015.
Winemakers' Federation of Australia
The WFA Outlook Conference is a biennial national policy conference bringing winemakers, analysts, exporters, marketers, retailers and politicians together to consider what actions are required to sustainably grow and future proof the Australian wine industry. It attracts some 300 members of industry and leading guest speakers from around the world.
M: 0424 135 381
The Australian Wine Research Institute
The Australian Wine Research Institute is the Australian grape and wine industry’s own research organisation. It supports a sustainable and successful grape and wine industry through world class research, practical solutions and knowledge transfer.
P: 08 8313 6600