“We have 10 certified producers, which represents 10% of the wineries enrolled in the program, and we expect to have 20 by the end of 2022,” João Barroso, coordinator of the Alentejo Wines Sustainability Program (PSVA), told Lusa.
Considered unprecedented in Portugal, this certification, launched by the CVRA in August 2020, recognises producers in the Alentejo region of good economic, social and environmental practices, from the vineyards to the winery.
According to the PSVA coordinator, this ‘seal’ gives “a competitive advantage” to producers, as “increasingly, markets and also consumers are focused on certifications, not only of organic production, but also sustainable”.
“All studies show that approximately 70% of consumers already ask for some kind of credential associated with the sustainability profile of their products, namely wine”, he said.
According to João Barroso, the PSVA, created in 2015 and within which certifications are awarded, has around 500 registered members, more precisely “400 winegrowers and 100 wineries”.
“Almost half of the vineyard area planted in Alentejo is part of the program”, he said, noting that “a third of the winegrowers and half of the wineries” in the entire region are part of the PSVA.
The sustainability program and the CVRA sustainable production 'seal' will be presented for the first time in London, United Kingdom, one of the main export markets in the region, next Tuesday.
Not a fad
“Sustainability is no longer a fad and is here to stay”, defended the PSVA coordinator, noting that “the Alentejo is the only region in Portugal that has a sustainability program”.
On this visit to the English market, there are “the assumptions that, on the one hand, there is a great demand for Alentejo and Portuguese wines and also the fact that we have this ‘flag’ that no other region in Portugal has”, he said.
This market, said the wine commission, was one of the “export destinations for Alentejo wines that stood out in the last two years”, with “a growth of 171% in value and 155% in volume”.