In focus: How French wine co-ops are going green

4th April, 2019 by Elizabeth Gabay

The creation of wine co-operatives in France in the early 20th century saved many rural communities from terminal decline. From the 1970s, co-operatives were gradually left behind, seen as dinosaurs, producing bulk wine of indeterminate quality. But since the 1990s, many have progressed from high-volume to quality wines and bottled sales.

Though more than 40% of French wine is made by co-operatives, their role is played down, and the word ‘co-operative’ rarely features on bottles. Many consumers are unaware that their favourite wine is not from an independent producer but from a co-operative. In recent years these co-ops have undergone a resurgence and again have a significant role in their
community. Many are big market movers in their appellations.

In today’s fiercely competitive wine market, competition is no longer just about wine itself. Customers – as well as employees, suppliers and, more broadly, society – are placing increasing importance on aspects of wine beyond its intrinsic quality, such as the producer’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility. A host of options are available for a company to prove its commitment. Natural farming may be organic or biodynamic. Sustainability….

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