Australia’s wine industry is one of the biggest in the world, responsible for the second largest supply of exported wine to China behind only France itself. This thriving industry is continuing to grow, but what does this mean for Australia’s environment?
Much like all agricultural and farming enterprises, those responsible for running them are finding that ignoring sustainability is simply not an option. Target markets are now more informed and aware about ecological concerns than ever before. This means that they’re increasingly more conscious about the products they buy and this is something that all businesses have taken into consideration.
Voluntary winemaking organisations focusing on sustainability
There are a number of organisations in Australia focusing solely on wineries and vineyards with the commitment of building awareness about environmentally-friendly practices. One such organisation is the Winemakers Federation of Australia’s Entwine Initiative, which has the overall objective of focusing on the overall environmental impact wineries are having. They specifically encourage various waste minimisation and pollution prevention strategies to improve the sustainability of its members.
Burch Family Wines is one such winery who has become a member of the Entwine Initiative and who actively practices eco-friendly viticulture methods. They are also proud members of The Australian Packaging Covenant and Department of Environment, two organisations also dedicated to minimising the impact wineries and other production companies have on the environment.
The top eco-friendly practices implemented by Burch Family Wines
• Biodynamics/organics: this form of agriculture, or organic farming has been growing in popularity in recent years due to its ability to improve crop efficiency and sustainability at the same time. Burch Family Wines uses various biodynamic sprays to build soil structure, increase water holding capacity, deter insect attacks and boost soil vitality.
• Recycled water: wineries produce a lot of wastewater during the production process, which is why Burch Family Wines recycles all water for use in irrigation. They also have a large water tank to gather all rainwater that falls on the roof to also be used around the vineyard.
• Sustainable product creations: many of the bottles used in Burch Family Wines’ MadFish range are now 28% lighter than the original, making them significantly more efficient in regards to energy, wastewater and freighting.
• Recycle whenever possible: whether it be paper, plastic or cardboard, if it can be recycled, Burch Family Wines is committed to implementing a thorough recycling system across their production facilities. They have also invested in a press to ensure all plastic and paper is compact and easy for collection by recycling companies.
While some of these practices may seem like small steps, every contribution counts and if all wineries begin implementing similar sustainable policies, then the overall positive impact on Australia’s environment will be tenfold.