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WSA campaign for traceability

Published:  23 July, 2008

EFWSID launch voluntary code

The European Federation of Wine and Spirit Importers and Distributors (EFWSID) has launched a new voluntary code of practice to ensure that wines can be traced back to the vineyard, through every stage of the production process. The code was developed by the Wine & Spirit Association (WSA) and its French counterpart AFED. It will provide traceability from vineyard to retailer, and will enable retailers to provide more assurance and authenticity for consumers. The code should help improve winery practice and hygiene. The Voluntary Code of Practice for Traceability in the Wine Sector was discussed between members of EFWSID and distributors and representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament, and producer groups at a seminar in Brussels on 22 June. The WSA is a member of EFWSID and hopes that the code will form part of the contractual arrangements between retailers and their suppliers. The code has been researched by Angela Muir MW and Ccile Brban, who were commissioned by the WSA in the UK and AFED in France to ensure that it complies with the best winery practice in the world. Australia already has processes in place to ensure full traceability for its wines and, according to the WSA, consumers are increasingly keen to be assured about the provenance of their wine. "As well as helping companies to get maximum information from minimum record keeping, and thereby keeping costs down, the code will also help to ensure a high standard of hygiene in wineries," said Philip Goodband MW, UK chairman of the joint British-French working party which developed the code. The voluntary code will link records held by operating companies to a sampling system and to a single document or "passport", which accompanies the wine from the vineyard through every stage to the retailer. If used properly it will be possible to trace a wine back to the vineyard from which it originated. Goodband said: "This is an extremely efficient and cost-effective means of providing reassurance to the consumer. There is a need for transparency and integrity in all matters concerning food and drink."