The Bordeaux wine trade introduces an environmental charter

Thursday March 07 2019 by Vitisphere

“Today, central purchasing agencies are receptive to HVE standards”, said Pierre Vieillefosse. “Today, central purchasing agencies are receptive to HVE standards”, said Pierre Vieillefosse.

The Bordeaux wine trade has set its sights on reducing agri-chemical residues, with a particular focus on phasing out pesticides classified as Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and Reprotoxic  chemicals (CMR). To avoid negative publicity in the media, the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux (UMB) has just rubber-stamped an environmental charter for wine supplies from voluntary members.

As far as pesticides are concerned, the charter aims to put an end to reputed CMRs for humans (CMR category 1b) from this vintage. Suspected CMR pesticides for humans are to be removed from vineyards in 2022 (CMR category 2), and between 2022 and 2024, traders adhering to the scheme will only be entitled to buy lots certified under the High Environmental Value scheme (HVE).

The charter was introduced by a UMB technical working party and aligns with Baron Philippe de Rothschild's specifications for its Mouton Cadet brand (300 contract growers over 1,500 hectares of vines under contract). The specifications stipulate 0 CMR (achieved on 75% of supplies in 2018) and 100% HVE (due in 2019).

Made available to the 300 Bordeaux trading companies, the charter is optional and every company can choose whether or not to apply it. Requests for agri-chemical residue analyses are commonplace, and this approach seems to have a bright future ahead of it. “We have embraced the charter and are going to integrate it into our purchasing specifications as of the 2019 vintage”, said Pierre Vieillefosse, purchasing director of Yvon Mau, which buys 50,000 hectolitres of Bordeaux appellation wine from 150 to 200 suppliers.

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