La parola alle aziende06 April 2017

The first integrated sustainability program for Sicilian viticulture

The first integrated sustainability program for Sicilian viticulture The SOSTAIN program will be presented for the first time at VINITALY, at the Tasca d’Almerita Stand, in the Sicily Pavilion (Pad. 2 Stand B23-C34) Palermo, April 5th, 2017. Italian viticulture makes an important step towards a more sustainable production process. Thanks to the collaboration with Italian Environmental Protection Agency – through the VIVA project – and the 6 years of research, with the scientific support of the Opera Center from the Università del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza. Today, SOStain is ready to extend to the other Sicilian companies, whether they produce organic, biodynamic, natural, conventional or other types of wine. Also, beyond the production orientation, the common denominator of SOStain companies is the will to promote best farming practices with the goal of respecting the ecosystem, and absolute transparency with regards to the consumer. The difference between SOStain and other certifications is gaining awareness, and the impacts of agricultural activities go beyond the fields we farm, because they also affect the workers’ wellbeing and the consumers’ health, the involvement of the local communities, promoting the surrounding territory, and preservation of the natural resources. For this reason, the program offers a quantitative measuring tool, giving the companies that use it the necessary indications to constantly improve. Some of the requirements are: from management of the organic substance in the soil, to its erosion or packing; from the recruiting process to the company’s economic effects on the territory; from checking the weight of the bottles to using renewable energy. “Each day we work to leave our children a better environment. In one word, sustainability. It isn’t a random process, but it’s a voluntary action, unlike passed-on knowledge, that requires scientific, technological and organizational support. This is the SOStain vision.” – According to Alberto Tasca d’Almerita – “We do it because we believe that the best way to implement a project is with awareness and a sense of responsibility, and without compromising the future generations.” The goal is to overlap SOStain with the sustainable development of Sicilian viticulture, facilitating participation and sharing among the involved parties. The program will be presented for the first time at VINITALY, at the TASCA stand in the Sicily Pavilion (Pad. 2 Stand B23-C34) SOStain: a vision Sustainability to support each other. The main reason is that we can’t take the land we walk on for granted. The land is what supports us, it feeds and hydrates us. It must continue to be our source of nutrition long after us. Sustainability is prospect and foresight. Commit today, for results tomorrow. We chose the vine for the SOStain project, the first sustainable viticulture project in Italy, implemented through a “process of sustainable phases” that can bring gradual and continuous improvements over time. Being “green” is an overall commitment that starts from using sustainable energy sources, environmental protection, recycling water, respect for the flora and fauna, employee benefits, and promoting the traditions of the local communities. The project is also designed for the consumer, who has developed a sensitivity to “Environmentally-friendly companies”. SOStain and VIVA together for the environment. SOStain is a program that was created from scratch, as a project of some of the Sicilian wine producers that for years have used sustainable practices. To obtain the certification by an independent authority, the companies must comply with 10 minimum requirements, which describe the necessary actions for sustainable development of the business and the territory. One of the requirements is to verify four indicators – Air, Water, Vineyard and Territory – established in the “VIVA – sustainability for Italian viticulture” program by the Italian Environmental Protection Agency. VIVA’s goal is to evaluate the environmental impact of the Italian wine production, on the entire territory, also from the vineyard to the consumer. Therefore, Sicily is the first pilot region to adopt an integrated sustainability program. This model, properly contextualized, will be applicable in wine-producing realities of other regions. THE CERTIFICATION Tasca d’Almerita was recently granted the certification by a third independent authority, Certiquality, which ensures that the SOStain and VIVA requirements are met. The certification represents a guarantee for the consumers who want to make careful and knowledgeable decisions, and is proof of Tasca d’Almerita’s commitment to implementing an environmentally friendly, socially equal and economically efficient development.