Ontario Wine Industry Launches Unique Environmental Program

Comprehensive Charter a First for Canada Niagara, April 18, 2007 – The Wine Council of Ontario has launched Sustainable Winemaking Ontario, the first program of its kind for Canada, in an effort to preserve and protect the environment.

“We are very excited about this comprehensive program which will be a great asset for wineries in helping them with continuous improvement in the sustainability of our environment,” said Norm Beal, Chair of the Wine Council of Ontario.

The program was developed after more than three years of research on best environmental practices around the world and is meant to provide benchmarking and tools for assessment and improvement.

 

“This program not only covers the areas of winemaking but also grape growing and winery hospitality,” he said. This is the first program of its kind for the Canadian wine industry. “Wineries and growers understand that environmental stewardship is critical to their future and decided to be proactive in creating a program that would be practical and effective for all sized wineries,” Beal added.

The program will allow for the ability to track changes in behavior and performance over time including benchmarking which will result in measurable impacts on the physical environment.

Goals of the program include:

· Improvements in energy use per unit of production

· Decreases in water use

· Improved management in waste water and more efficient use of materials throughout the businesses.

Long term, the objectives include measuring improvements in air quality, water quality, wastewater management, natural resource management, resource use and management of water resources including watershed management. While there will be no specific branding during the initial period of the program, customers can ask wineries if they participate in Sustainable Winemaking Ontario.

“Our focus is to encourage continuous improvement of environmental practices for all wineries,” said Beal.

The Wine Council of Ontario is a nonprofit trade association that represents Ontario’s four wine regions – Niagara Peninsula, Pelee Island, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward Country. The Council represents 78 winery properties throughout these regions. The Ontario wine industry creates employment for more than 5500.

For more information contact: Sherri Haigh, Director of Public Affairs Wine Council of Ontario (905) 684-8070 ext. 18sherri.haigh@winesofontario.org

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