Project 4.2.1

Supporting the sustainability of grape and wine businesses and Australia’s sustainability credentials

Project summary

Launched in 2019, Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is Australia’s national program for grapegrowers and winemakers to demonstrate and continuously improve their sustainability in the vineyard and winery through the environmental, social and economic aspects of their businesses. The program takes a holistic approach to managing, supporting and promoting sustainability. In 2020, Australian Grape & Wine, the AWRI and Wine Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the collaborative arrangements for governance and delivery of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is governed by a joint steering committee with representatives from Australian Grape & Wine, the AWRI and Wine Australia. The roles of the three partner organisations are as follows:

  • Australian Grape & Wine provides oversight and guidance of the program, liaises with the Australian Government and state governments and consults with the sector’s key stakeholders on policy and development.
  • The AWRI provides program management, membership administration, technical development, and extension and adoption activities.
  • Wine Australia provides marketing and communications to help attract and retain members and to promote Australia’s sustainability credentials to key stakeholder groups globally.

Latest information

In 2020/2021 program membership increased by 23% to 631 (90% vineyard members and 10% winery members), with certified members representing 15% of total members. The increase in membership reflects increased confidence and familiarity with the new governance and delivery arrangements of the program. There is also significant and growing demand for certified membership of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia from across the sector, with certification training delivered to 91 members during the year. This training is an essential requirement of certification to ensure that the program is interpreted and implemented successfully.

Trust mark
The Sustainable Winegrowing Australia trust mark, developed as a co-investment between the AWRI and Australian Grape & Wine in 2020, became available for use by certified members on wine labels and marketing materials in June 2020. The trust mark completed registration with IP Australia in December 2020 and was accepted in the EU, UK, NZ and the USA. During the year, 17 applications for use of the trust mark on wine labels by certified members of the program were approved and 38 farmgate signs featuring the trust mark were delivered to certified members.

Industry engagement
COVID-19-related travel and gathering restrictions posed some challenges to the delivery of industry engagement activities; however, the transition to online and hybrid online/face-to-face workshop delivery was well received. Participants in online certification training workshops reported an average overall workshop rating of 88% at post-event surveys. During the year the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia team delivered 11 workshops and 19 presentations to regional groups across Australia and developed five new member case studies. A new standalone website for the program was launched in April 2021.

Dr Mardi Longbottom is a member of the Australian Grape & Wine Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) and provided contributions at four meetings during the year. The project team also coordinated a working group of SAC members who provided guidance and input into a major review of the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia workbook.

Project Contact

Mardi Longbottom

Find out more