Twenty percent of vineyards in New Zealand will be farmed organically or biodynamically by 2020, according to a new target set by Organic Winegrowers New Zealand (OWNZ).
The area of the country’s vineyards under organic certification has tripled over the past three years, but so far only 1,500 hectares of vines in 115 vineyards are managed organically – 4.5% of New Zealand’s total.
‘By 2020, even if we only achieve 20% of the vinelands in our country as being certified organic and biodynamic, it will be a giant step towards enforcing our very precious environmental image to wine connoisseurs all over the world,” said James Millton, organic grower and winemaker, and chairman of OWNZ.
OWNZ is claiming ‘strong support’ from generic body New Zealand Winegrowers, whose CEO Philip Gregan said: ‘We see the expansion of organics over the next decade as an important component of the industry’s commitment to sustainability, and are confident it will strongly support our brand positioning in global markets.’
OWNZ, a 140-member association, set the target after signing a Memorandum of Understanding last year to promote organic production through education, research and marketing – claimed as the first long-term commitment of its kind in New Zealand.
Photo: Organic Winegrowers New Zealand
Written by Richard Woodard