Martell, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët head towards phasing out pesticides

Friday June 12 2020 by Vitisphere

“Regenerative farming involves agroecology, agroforestry, permaculture...” specified Bernard Pineau.“Regenerative farming involves agroecology, agroforestry, permaculture...” specified Bernard Pineau. - Photo credit : MMPJ

French vineyards, “are in an interim period where we are moving away from chemicals. Weed control and systematic treatments are over. It’s now all about observation”, commented Bernard Pineau, head of sustainable winegrowing at Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët (MMPJ, a subsidiary of Pernod-Ricard). As part of the Pernod Ricard group's sustainable development objectives for 2030, MMPJ plans to set up pilot projects for regenerative agriculture and biodiversity in its own vineyards (430 hectares in Cognac and 260 hectares in Champagne) as of 2021.

To establish our model, we're looking at the best that can be found among organic, biodynamic and agroforestry techniques... Nothing is off-bounds”, added Pineau, who wants to reduce chemical inputs without “restricting ourselves to organic farming, which is too reliant on copper”. As the sustainable development coordinator of the MMPJ network, he is currently looking for experts and experiences. However, MMPJ points out that it is not working from a blank canvas. For the past five years, it has been farming without Carcinogenic, Mutagenic and Reprotoxic (CMR) plant protection products in its vineyards. Glyphosate was banned at Martell in 2019 and at Mumm and Perrier-Jouët in 2020. The vineyards are also trialling alternative weed control (electric, foam, water pressure, etc.) as well as rolling out a varietal creation programme in Cognac (using Vidal blanc), introducing biodiversity inventories, increasing use of biocontrol (including treatment of downy mildew with the Immunrise algae solution), and ramping up use of recuperation panels for spraying, to name a few.





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