SAN FRANCISCO November 18, 2003 - American Farmland Trust has awarded the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) a $150,000 grant to measure the adoption of integrated pest management methods in the state and to report on the progress of the Wine Institute/California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Code of Sustainable Winegrowing project. CSWA is the 501(c)3 nonprofit educational foundation established by members of Wine Institute and CAWG to promote the program.
Integrated pest management (IPM) is a sustainable approach to pest control that provides a variety of tactics to prevent, avoid or suppress weeds, insects and crop diseases, while protecting human health, the environment and the profitability of agriculture. The grant will help support new IPM-focused workshops, data collection and the production of the first California Wine Community Sustainability Report. These activities will measure and facilitate the adoption of IPM in all major California winegrape-growing regions.
"By demonstrating and sharing environmentally friendly business practices, California's winegrape growers and vintners are collaborating to improve the health of the land that produces world-class wines," said CSWA president Paul Dolan of Fetzer Vineyards.
"These types of projects protect agriculture as a viable economic sector and farmland as its most critical resource by helping farmers address environmental challenges while remaining profitable," said Ann Sorenson, director of American Farmland Trust's Center for Agriculture in the Environment.
More than 65 initial workshops have been conducted throughout the state to help the industry adopt the Sustainable Winegrowing Code. Workshop participants use a workbook that incorporates educational materials and a performance measuring system that includes IPM and other practices. Participants fill out self-assessment forms evaluating the sustainable winegrowing practices of their vineyards and wineries. Vintners representing more than half of the annual wine case production and a third of the state's winegrowers are participating in program. Data from the workshops will be used to benchmark the industry's progress and develop sustainability performance targets. The project will culminate in a new series of industry wide workshops.
The grant was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Ð a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 Ð was created to conduct public outreach on the benefits of widespread adoption of the sustainable winegrowing practices, and to enlist industry commitment and assist in effective implementation. Through outreach, education, analysis and reporting, as well as partnerships with other sectors, CSWA will strive to ensure that the California wine community is recognized as a change leader in the global marketplace. The result of this work will be a healthier environment, stronger communities and vibrant businesses. For more information, visit http://www.wineinstitute.org or http://www.cawg.org.
American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with communities and individuals to protect the best land, plan for growth with agriculture in mind and keep the land healthy. As the leading advocate for farm and ranchland conservation, AFT has ensured that more than a million acres stays bountiful and productive. AFT's National Office is located in Washington, D.C. Phone: 202/331-7300. AFT's Center for Agriculture in the Environment is located in DeKalb, IL and can be reached at 815/753-9347. For more information, visit http://www.farmland.org.
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