SA wine industry continues to tackle climate change

Thursday, 30 June, 2011

The South Australian Wine Industry has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling climate change by signing a new sector agreement with the state government.

Stuart McNab, the President of the South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA), and Simon Berry, Chairman of the Wine Grape Council of South Australia (WGCSA), joined South Australian Premier Mike Rann at Parliament House on 18 May to formally sign the agreement.

Sector agreements are formal cooperative agreements between the state government and specific industry sectors and regions that encourage actions to reduce greenhouse emissions and adapt to climate change.

The wine industry signed its first agreement in May 2008 at the London Wine Show. This agreement concluded in September 2010, and helped the industry:

  • develop the Australian Wine Carbon Calculator;
  • be more informed about climate change impacts and adaptation responses; and
  • assist the wine sector in measuring and reporting their greenhouse gas emissions.

The new sector agreement builds on these achievements by increasing industry participation to:

  • continue to measure greenhouse gas emissions;
  • assist businesses to develop environmental action plans; and
  • help the industry adapt to new opportunities presented by climate change.

According to SAWIA Chief Executive Brian Smedley, the renewing of the agreement demonstrates a further strengthening of the partnership between the South Australian wine sector and the state government to build competitiveness in a future carbon-constrained economy.

“The new sector agreement will allow for continuation of the measurement of the wine sector’s carbon footprint, as well as helping businesses to maintain competitiveness and adapt to changes in the domestic and international market place,” Smedley said.

Peter Hackworth, WGCSA Executive Officer, added that the partnership would allow “grapegrowers to benefit particularly from understanding new opportunities for carbon farming as well as project activities to assist in achieving environmental certification”.

Specific technical expertise will also be contributed by industry mentors facilitated through the government’s Business Sustainability Alliance - a partnership between Innovate SA, ZeroWaste SA and EPA.

The key outcomes of the agreement are targeted at increasing the profitability, competitiveness and sustainability of the wine sector in an emerging carbon-constrained global economy. It will also help to prepare the industry for the impacts of a changing climate.

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