SAN FRANCISCO — The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) will receive two grants from the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Risk Management Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for new risk management and climate change initiatives. The USDA Risk Management Agency announced an award of a $96,000 Risk Management Partnership Agreement to CSWA to provide tools for vintners and growers to help prevent or minimize risks and losses. The agreement will be used in part to develop a handbook and hold workshops that will present best practices, resources and case studies, including data on the financial implications of adopting risk management strategies. Offering risk management education is part of CSWA's mission to promote sustainable winegrowing practices that help vintners and winegrowers remain economically viable. CSWA was also one of 12 "new and innovative" projects that CDFA selected to receive a $100,000 grant as part of the Specialty Crop Block Grants program. The project will involve collaboration between industry and academic partners to examine data and research pertaining to emissions and offsets of greenhouse gases to better understand the wine, table and raisin grape sector's greenhouse gas "footprint." The project findings will enable the industry to accelerate development of mitigation measures and prioritize research needs. The partners are Wine Institute, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Allied Grape Growers, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Grape and Tree Fruit League, Sun-Maid Growers of California, and the University of California at Davis. "California's wine industry members have always been great collaborators and have shared information. The climate change partnership is an example of this spirit as well as being an efficient use of resources," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. "The grants will help protect the economic sustainability of California's wine industry and support our efforts to preserve air quality "California winegrowers are resilient and have already adapted their practices to accommodate seasonal changes in the climate. However, the development of new tools and research information will put us ahead of the curve in making informed decisions for the future," said Karen Ross, President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. "The wine community is solidly committed to sustainable winegrowing practices demonstrated by their continuing participation in our programs and workshops. We're pleased that USDA and CDFA have chosen to support our efforts to protect air quality and manage risk," said Allison Jordan, Executive Director of CSWA. CSWA's Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) is a ground-breaking project that encourages and enables winegrowers and vintners to adopt the highest standards of sustainable practices. The program, established in 2002, is a partnership between Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG). In 2003, Wine Institute and CAWG formed the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to assist in the implementation of the SWP. For more information on the alliance, visit www.sustainablewinegrowing.org. The USDA grant is part of the Risk Management Agency's Commodity Partnerships Program. Grant information is at: http://www.rma.usda.gov/news/2007/03/commoditypartnershipscorr.pdf. The CDFA grant information can be found at: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/Specialty_Crop_Competitiveness_Grants/Grants.html.
Oct 12, 2007