Responsible wine production is on the rise

Consumption patterns continue to change in an increasingly sustainable and healthier direction. Demand for organic and ethically produced wines, for instance, is on the rise. Altia engages in continuous work to respond to this trend.

Environmental friendliness and ethics throughout the supply chain have become increasingly important factors in the demand for wine in recent years. A consumer looking for ethically produced wine pays attention to everything from organic production process, the use of pesticides by the vineyards, additives in the wine’s production process, environmentally friendly package, carbon footprint and to the fair treatment of the people involved in its production. Altia has reacted to this growth in demand by offering an increasing number of varieties in ethically and ecologically produced wines.

“It doesn’t matter how good the wine is – if the production process does not meet the responsibility standards or principles, we will not include the product in our portfolio until the shortcomings have been addressed. As a major Nordic buyer, our decisions carry a lot of weight for producers,” says Anna Bastin Löwgren, who is a sourcing manager in Altia’s Wine Sourcing team.

Certification and audits guarantee a wine’s sustainability

When a wine’s sourcing process gets underway, Altia ensures that the wine producers comply with environmental, quality and safety standards. To guarantee this, Altia is committed to complying with a number of quality, environmental and safety standards and certificates and with comprehensive responsibility principles. These include the ethical principles of the amfori BSCI initiative related to responsible sourcing as well as Fairtrade and Fair for Life certifications. Altia joined the amfori BSCI initiative in 2017.

“If we observe shortcomings with a producer we are in business with, we also have a duty to guide and support the wine producers in steering their operations in a more ethical and ecological direction. The experiences we’ve had in this cooperation have been very positive,” says Bastin Löwgren.

Altia has responded to the change in consumer trends with its popular Chill Out wines, for example. The product range of the Chill Out wines represents very well Altia’s sustainability thinking in respect to wine production. The Chill Out product range includes Faitrade certified as well as organic wines from different parts of the world. The producers of the wines accepted into this product range have demonstrated their commitment to sustainable wine production in the entire production process – from improving the well-being of their employees to sustainable viticulture.

Sustainability is also considered in the packaging of these wines, taking into consideration the increase in recyclability and the reductions in carbon footprint. The bottled range is mostly in PET bottles, pouches or BIB (back-in-box) packages.