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Rathfinny joins select B Corp winemaking club

Published:  19 April, 2023

Rathfinny Wine Estate has achieved B Corp status, being only the third UK producer to gain the ethical and sustainable benchmark ranking.

One of the largest independent sparkling and still wine producers in England, the Sussex-based winery also folds in agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, retail and hospitality to its operations, making the B Corp recognition particularly far reaching.

When founded in 2010, co-owners Mark and Sarah Driver set out to build a business that was “environmentally friendly and sustainable”, building in technology and practices such as photovoltaic cells and water wastewater recycling to the operation.

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B Corp demands that companies adopt what it defines as the ‘Triple Bottom Line’, putting people and planet on par with profit, which Rathfinny folded into its founding mission statement.

As part of that drive the company works with a variety of local and national organisations, including the National Trust and the South Downs National Park Authority, helping allow public access to the estate, plus nearby Plumpton College, where it sponsors the ‘Rathfinny Research Winery’, which furthers research on behalf of the English wine industry.

On achieving B Corp status, Sarah Driver said: “I’m really proud that sustainability and reducing our environmental impact has been embraced by all our staff, in all areas of our business.”

Cameron Roucher, vineyard manager and co-lead, added: “B Corp only works when staff embrace it at all levels to create a culture change and that has happened at Rathfinny which has been truly amazing – it is not something you can impose from the top down. I think it is the greatest achievement of this whole process and one we are truly proud of."

In attaining B Corp status, Rathfinny joins a currently rarefied UK club, with only fellow Sussex winery Ridgeview and canned winemaker brand The Uncommon sitting alongside.