Sunday, December 6, 2009
Kris O'Conner from the Vineyard team speaks to all of us about Sustainability not only on the Farms but in the Vineyards as well.
In these days and times a big "buzz" world is Sustainability . The practice of Sustainable , Organic farming not only applies to our food but now , literally from the ground up, in the Vineyards.
The Monterey Plazza Hotel located on Cannery Row offered us an opportunity to meet Kris O' Conner from the Central Coast Vineyard team. She lead us in a discussion on their acclaimed Certification program.
It is important to realize that true sustainability includes the Farms, People and the environment. Kris O'Conner made the point that we recognize how the farm affects the land beyond the fence line and that farms work to protect the environment and care for their workers. The vineyard team encourages farms to plant cover crops to reduce erosion , minimize the tractor use and use alternative fuels. Kris O ' Conner stated the team regularly scouts the vineyards checking for pest-prey balance and will only use reduced risk materials as a last resort. Water conservation is also important as the vineyards are monitored for water use . A factor that many people over look when they talk about sustainability is the people. Social Responsibility O'Conner stated means to offer competitive wages , medical insurance , training and education because the workers are a very valuable resource.
The SIP Certified Vineyards have meaningful standards that are set by experts and the Growers must meet the highest level of performance just to be eligible. Independent inspectors confirm the grower has met the standards and an independent panel grants the certification based on audits or reports.
It is so important to our food supply that we look for the SIP seal that assures us , the consumer, that the growers protected our natural resources , treated their employees well and have sound business practices.
Some of the Vineyards that have achieved this highest level of sustainability are Ampelos Cellars , Edna Valley Vineyard , McIntyre Vineyards , Robert Hall Winery and Paraiso Vineyards just to name a few.
For more information about SIP Certified Vineyards please go to Sipthegoodlife.org