A new sustainability certification program for B.C. grape growers and wineries is being created to help environmentally responsible operations put their green standards right on the label.

Sustainable Winegrowing B.C. (SWBC), a program of the British Columbia Wine Grape Council, is developing certification, which, the province says, will highlight the integrity and credibility of the provincial wine industry and increase competitiveness of B.C. wine with other top wine-growing regions around the world.

The sustainable certification program is receiving $100,000 in cost-shared funding from the governments of Canada and B.C., through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“This new sustainability certification program will maintain the sector’s competitiveness, increase consumer confidence in B.C.’s award-winning wine, and minimize the environmental footprint of our wine industry,” said Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture.

“I am keen to continue to work with B.C. grape growers and winemakers, to help them build their markets and their businesses in a sustainable, thoughtful manner.”

SWBC defines sustainability as “more than just environmentally-friendly; it integrates protection of the environment, profitability, and social values. Sustainable winegrowing reaches from ‘soil to shelf.’ ”

It earlier established an online self-assessment tool that allows growers and wineries to view their sustainability performance. The new certification program will take the next step in maintaining and enhancing public trust.

Oliver Osoyoos Wine Association members participating in the program include Culmina, Intersection, Road 13, Nk’Mip and Tinhorn Creek. Locally, LaStella Winery and several vineyards also participate in the program.

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