Whole Foods wine buyer urges Sonoma growers to push sustainability

Bill Swindell, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Related story: Sonoma County Winegrowers develop 100-year plan to protect agriculture
The top wine buyer for Whole Foods Market on Thursday lauded the effort by Sonoma County growers to make the county’s grape crop 100 percent sustainable before the end of the decade, but cautioned it will be a difficult task to get a national standard that will embraced by wine consumers.
Doug Bell, Whole Foods Market’s global beverage buyer, told the Sonoma County Winegrowers at its annual meeting that he backs its efforts to create the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine growing region by 2019. To qualify, growers must be certified in numerous areas such as water and air quality, pest management, carbon emissions and even employment practices.
However, Bell noted that the county’s growers must drive the effort — and the conversation — so it will be reflected in the national marketplace, from the supermarket shelf to the local bistro’s wine list.
“If you guys depend on Whole Foods to solely tell your message, we’re going to fail. We can’t do it by ourself,” Bell said. “We will never move the needle until these environmentally and socially conscious practices are touted in the labeling and the messaging.”
Read more via Whole Foods wine buyer urges Sonoma growers to | The Press Democrat.

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