Wine Institute and CAWG Receive IPM Innovator Award
Oct 3, 2003SACRAMENTO - Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) received the Department of Pesticide Regulation's "IPM Innovator of the Year Award" at a ceremony at the California Environmental Projection Agency headquarters in Sacramento today. The department gave two of its eight awards to these organizations this year to give rare public recognition to those who develop and promote methods for pest management that reduce the risks associated with using traditional chemical approaches.
Wine Institute and CAWG developed the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices, a statewide program and 490-page workbook for vintners and growers. The Code promotes best management practices for protecting the environment and enhancing relations with employees, neighbors and local communities, while remaining economically competitive. Workbook chapters provide specific guidelines for managing pests with a broad-based combination of biological, cultural and chemical tools, including encouraging beneficial plants and animals that make it difficult for pests to survive.
"The positive response of California's vintners and growers to the Code program demonstrates the commitment to farm and make wine responsibly adjacent to the state's increasingly expanding urban areas. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it provides best practices to reinforce California's emphasis on making high quality wine," says Wine Institute President and CEO Robert P. Koch.
Wine Institute and CAWG have distributed 2000 Code workbooks and held 65 workshops throughout the state to help the California wine community use the workbook's resources. At the workshops, participants review the workbook chapters and submit self-assessments that scientifically measure the practices of their vineyard and winery operations. The confidential self-evaluations forms provide data to track the industry's progress in adopting the sustainable winegrowing guidelines. With this information, Wine Institute and CAWG plan to issue a "California Wine Community Sustainability Report" in the next year.
Introduced on October 29, 2002, the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices program has exceeded its first year goal of 10 percent industry participation. Self-assessments collected to date represent 27 percent of the state's winegrape acreage, and 46 percent of the state's wine production.
"Our California wine community is an innovative, forward-thinking group that is preparing itself for future trends. We will use the collected data to benchmark the industry's impact on the state's natural and human resources in order to track our progress in the coming years. The information also will help inform public officials and communities about the positive work the wine industry is doing to enhance the environment," says Karen Ross, president of CAWG, an organization whose growers represent about 60 percent of the state's total annual grape crush.
California Assemblymember Patricia Wiggins nominated Wine Institute and CAWG for the IPM Innovator award. "The Code of Sustainable Winegrowing was an obvious choice for recognition because it is the first of its kind in setting best practices for making wine from the ground to the glass," says Assemblymember Wiggins.
More information on the IPM Innovator Awards is online at: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov. Further information on the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices is at http://www.wineinstitute.org.