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Sourcing responsibly and ethically
Everything we buy should have minimal negative impact on the environment and climate, and a positive impact on people. We want to buy wine that has been made and transported with less energy, less water, fewer chemicals, less pollution – and where everyone along the supply chain has been treated with care, fairness and respect.
That’s why we are evolving our approach to sourcing, so we can ensure that our wine is made as sustainably as possible, protecting people and the planet.
We want to have the most ethical and environmentally sustainable wine supply chain in the world by 2030. And we believe we have the strong relationships with our suppliers required to make that happen.
Did you know that transportation of wine can make up approximately 13 to 20% of a wine bottle's carbon emissions?
One of our first steps has been to create new environmental and social standards that over time our growers and producers will need to comply with. These standards are based on existing sustainability certifications, covering areas such as water, chemical and energy usage, waste reduction and recycling and labour conditions. We will actively invest in helping our suppliers achieve these standards through direct financial and technical support to obtain credible sustainability certifications and through a new supplier forum we will launch in 2024. This supplier forum will enable suppliers to share information, tools, guidance and success stories with each other, helping raise standards across our supply chain.
In 2024, our own-label wines will have their own sustainability scorecard to help members make better-informed buying decisions. This will be a way of rating the social and environmental credentials of our wines – in addition to quality and price.
In the following year, we aim to extend the scorecard to cover all our wines, and to launch our own Sustainable Choice category of own-label wines that rank the highest on our scorecard. We’ll be clear and open about how and why these wines were selected to help members make their own choices.
We will also develop a new approach to ethical trading, which is about working towards eliminating human rights abuses, exploitation and discrimination, and ensuring that labour standards adhere to universal principles. A recent study found more than 1,500 cases of labour exploitation in the wine industry in Italy alone. It’s therefore vital that we not only pay a fair price for the things we buy, but we also make sure the people who work in our supply chain, particularly casual labourers in vineyards, are taken care of by those who employ them.
We have a lot of work to do in this area and have hired experts from Herring Consultancy to help develop our approach to responsible sourcing, which we will publish in 2023.