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Wine Industry Embraces Sustainability

Eighty percent of the vineyard representatives participating in the survey said they have used sustainable farming practices on at least part of their acreage during 2008, according to surveys of wine industry professionals and executives conducted by Robert Smiley, professor and director of wine studies in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis. In addition, 46 percent of the respondents said they have been, or plan to be, marketing their grapes as “sustainable” or “organic” during the current or upcoming year.

All of the executives interviewed said their firms were actively engaged in environmentally friendly business activities, such as package redesign, use of biodiesel fuel, wastewater reclamation and developing “green” building plans. They expressed a concern, however, over the lack of clarity in the industry and among consumers over what many environmental terms like “sustainable,” “green,” and “low carbon footprint” actually mean and how industry can genuinely adopt environmentally sensitive practices.

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