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Sustainable Winegrowing with Vineyard Team

Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team brings you the latest in science and research for the wine industry. This on-the-go, sustainable farming educational resource provides in-depth technical information on topics like integrated pest management, fruit quality, water conservation, and nutrient management from experts like Dr. Mark Fuchs of Cornell University, Dr. Michelle Moyer of Washington State University, Cooperative Extension Specialists, veteran growers, and more. Our podcasts will help you make smarter, sustainable vineyard management decisions to increase efficiency, conserve resources, and maximize fruit quality.

May 27, 2024

Have you ever been asked “What’s the difference between organic and sustainable?”

Have you seen farming operations that have both certifications?

Welcome to Marketing Tip Monday with SIP Certified. We know customers are looking for wines labeled as sustainable. While our longer-form episodes help you learn about the latest science and research for the wine industry, these twice-monthly micro podcasts will help you share your dedication to sustainable winegrowing so you can show your customers that you share their values.

In this Marketing Tip, you’ll learn how Certified Organic and sustainable compare, and get some ideas for engaging in a conversation about what your certification means.

Sustainable and Organic Overlap

There is a lot of overlap between the programs.

Both programs are committed to environmental preservation and regeneration through practices that address:

  • Biodiversity and Habitat
  • Soil Health and Conservation
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Water Quality

Why Get Both?

A lot of SIP Certified farmers are also Certified Organic. Even if they’re not certified by both, many of their farming practices overlap the programs.

Since many organic practices are sustainable and vice-versa, an operation can attain both certifications without many complications.

When a winegrower gets both Certified Organic and SIP Certified sustainable they demonstrate their commitment to environmental preservation and beyond. It also appeals to eco-conscious consumers who consider both certifications when making purchasing decisions.

How to Explain Sustainability

The 3 P’s of Sustainability

What makes sustainability unique is that in addition to addressing farming practices, it also looks at the social and economic aspects of the operation.

A good way to remember this is the 3 P’s of Sustainability: People, Planet, and Prosperity.

You can tie several practices that your business engages in every day back to the 3 P’s:

  • People: Community and neighbor communication plans; Health and retirement benefits for employees; Competitive wages; Engaging in charitable gift giving and services.
  • Planet: *Integrated Pest Management strategies like cultural, biological, and mechanical control; *Planting cover crops to protect water quality, control erosion, and provide habitat for beneficial insects; Using alternative sources of energy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Prosperity: Creating and sticking to a budget; Analyzing trends in sales, purchasing, and resource usage; Staying up to date with the latest information and technology; Being aware of upcoming regulations.

* Overlap with Organic.

Tell a Story

Stories make facts more memorable. You can tell your customers that your brand practices social responsibility, but without sharing a specific example of what that looks like, you haven’t really told them much!

Next time someone asks you, “What’s the difference between organic and sustainable?” try to share a specific sustainable example from the People or Prosperity categories:

The Journey to Net-Zero

3 P's Category: Prosperity

When the team at Center of Effort looked at their energy use, they discovered many areas where they could adjust to be more efficient.

Over time, these changes have compounded to have tremendous energy savings:

·         Run their cooling system during off-peak hours.

·         Replace a 15-year-old chiller with a newer, more efficient one that allows for selective tank cooling.

·         Install a remote-operated quick-draw door in the production room to address insulation losses.

Since making all of these changes, their winery and hospitality areas are now 100% powered by the sun. In fact, they now run net-negative and send generated power back to the grid!

Did you see Center of Effort's Sustainable Story feature in Grape and Wine Magazine?

Tell Your Sustainable Story

We are here to help you tell your customers how your brand protects natural and human resources with the Sustainable Story program.

This simple yet powerful free tool helps you tell your own personal sustainable message. And it just got better with a new online course.  Go to the show notes, click the link titled Tell Your Sustainable Story to sign up, and start writing yours today!      

Until next time, this is Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team.


Vineyard Team Programs:

Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship - Donate

SIP Certified – Show your care for the people and planet  

Sustainable Ag Expo – The premiere winegrowing event of the year

Sustainable Winegrowing On-Demand (Western SARE) – Learn at your own pace

Vineyard Team – Become a Member