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Winegrowers Awarded Funds For Organic Viticulture

Central Otago Winegrowers Awarded Funds For Organic Viticulture

Central Otago Winegrowers Association has been awarded a major grant from Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) to advance the region in developing organic viticulture.

This is the first of its kind for viticulture in New Zealand. The funding will be used to design and implement a comprehensive programme to support the winegrowers in becoming organic.

The objectives of the programme will be to offer information and advice on the conversion process and certification options for those interested in moving towards organic viticulture. An appointed regional coordinator will oversee the programme and provide motivation and support for its members.

Currently organic winegrowers are self sufficient with no formal structure in place to consult, learn and develop the knowledge acquired.

Working in conjunction with Organic Winegrowers of New Zealand (OWNZ) the programme will act as a pilot project that can be replicated in other winegrowing regions throughout the country and aims to be an inspiration to the wider New Zealand viticulture industry.

Martin Anderson president of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association said the programme was important to ensure the quality and soil health of the region is maintained. “The future of our region and the products we produce is reliant on the health of our lands and waterways, we are taking a considerable step in the right direction to protect the future generations of land users,” he said.

The collective organics idea was first tabled at COWA’s 2007 AGM and received a clear directive from members to move the application forward. It is intended a number of vineyards will sign up to the programme by the end of 2008, 50% by 2010 and the majority by 2015.

The programme is jointly funded by COWA and will be offered to all member vineyards on a voluntary sign-in basis with the costs yet to be determined.

Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) is an incorporated society set up to provide co-ordination, leadership and strategy to the organic producers, merchants, exporters, researchers and certifiers of New Zealand.

30 April 2008

ENDS

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