Kiwis set to push eco message

21 January, 2011

New Zealand Winegrowers is planning to take its sustainability message to consumers for the first time this summer.

It is looking at wine bottle back labels, websites and social networking as potential ways of communicating its sustainability policies, said UK head David Cox. New Zealand’s wine trade is working towards being 100% sustainable by next year, which means cutting waste, reducing chemical use and keeping water use to a minimum.

“If

shoppers feel New Zealand wineries are trying to do their bit, they are more inclined to be faithful to us than elsewhere,” said Cox. He is confident New Zealand will boost its average bottle price from the £5.95 it dropped to at the end of December, according to Nielsen, to more than £6. But he raised concerns that the 2011 vintage could be large, creating potential oversupply and leaving the country open to heavy discounting.

NZW chief executive Philip Gregan has been encouraging growers not to produce more wine than they can sell, and the body is hopeful the trade will be united in maintaining lower volumes and a premium image for Kiwi wine.

“We have got living proof across the Tasman Sea in Australia that if demand and supply gets really out of whack you can get difficulties,” said Cox. “We don’t want to follow that but can’t deny there are people who have invested to high degrees and bank managers who want to see returns, and a few people who have wine in tanks they need to supply.”?




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