Environmental transition in the Côtes du Rhône rapidly gains momentum

Tuesday July 30 2019 by Vitisphere

 Philippe Pellaton, chairman of the Côtes du Rhône producers’ organisation with signatories of the biodiversity agreements. Philippe Pellaton, chairman of the Côtes du Rhône producers’ organisation with signatories of the biodiversity agreements.

At the beginning of the year, the Côtes du Rhône announced a strategic environmental plan. Six months down the line and things have progressed rapidly... The producers’ organisation has been quick to take various steps to promote an overarching and collective environmental policy driven by an incentive-based vision. The organisation did not just amend its specifications to restrict the use of weed killers, it has also sought to move forward on a collective, and voluntary basis by proposing innovative actions.

Making HVE more accessible

Its first innovation lies in its strategy for fostering environmental certification. Instead of setting a target for the number of certified farms, the organisation asked itself how it could facilitate access to HVE certification and motivate companies to get certified. The answer to this is well-known: support certification, reduce inspection pressure and costs. To achieve this, the organisation was certified as an intermediate certification body on July 8.  “This reduces inspection pressure but also the cost. We spread the cost inspecting the 7 farms over 40 applicants”, said the chairman of the Côtes du Rhône producers’ organisation Philippe Pellaton. The service should encourage many farms to strive for HVE certification. “Next year this service will be rolled out”.

Wildlife protection

The organisation has also made a commitment to biodiversity. “Modifying specifications to introduce agri-environmental measures and rolling out HVE certification are aimed at an audience of experts and industry members. I also wanted to take action involving a wider audience”, explained Pellaton. Although the organisation has been involved for the past 8 years in implementing a landscape charter, it wanted to go further. On 16 July, it signed several agreements with nature and biodiversity protection associations

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