Workshop: “Enjoying Wine, a European Art de vivre”
EU Focus was delighted to organize a hybrid workshop which took place in the prestigious setting of the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux. Bringing together high-level panelists, this event create a forum to discuss wine as an integral part of European heritage and copper as an essential tool for sustainable wine production.
Dr Jože Podgoršek recalled the need to reduce the risks of plant protection products (PPPs) and the EU’s overall objective of achieving 25% of agricultural land in organic farming by 2030. However, he also stressed that “it is difficult to imagine appropriate vine protection without copper, both for conventional and organic farming” and that “preparations that are allowed in organic farming, such as copper, represent a basic alternative”. Furthermore, he affirmed Slovenia’s support for adjusting the risk assessment of substances such as copper, which, due to their inorganic mineral nature, should not be assessed in the same way as regular PPPs. Nathalie Delattre emphasized the importance of the wine sector in France, and the common cultural heritage that it represents for Europe. However, “winegrowing is today a sector in difficulty, caught up in structural and cyclical crises that force it to renew itself in order to continue to exist”. These crises are multiple, whether commercial, sanitary or climatic, among others. This is why “technical, financial and innovative support from national and European decision-makers is needed to help European vineyards face these challenges and make a success of their ago-ecological transition”. Paolo De Castro’s speech adopted a similar tone. Ignacio Sanchez rounded off the discussions by explaining the sustainability challenge facing the EU wine sector, encompassing the need to become more sustainable but also how to interpret and communicate this sustainability. He described how the concept of sustainability has been modulated over the years, to be today essentially based on the “transformation of the economy into a green economy”, with all the difficult adaptations and high expectations that this implies.
The second part of the workshop was enriched by scientific contributions that concluded that copper is essential for sustainable wine production. Riccardo Bugiani reminded the audience of the fundamental importance and irreplaceable role of copper as an active fungicide in integrated production and in particular in organic production, especially to combat diseases such as mildew. This is particularly true in view of the fact that “due to climate change, this type of disease is on the increase”. Ettore Capri’s presentation further reinforced the scientific evidence that copper is a key element in sustainable wine production. Matthias Weidenauer pointed out that copper does not trigger any exclusion on the basis of properties considered to be hazardous. He also explained the current inappropriate assessment of inorganic substances such as copper, which are currently assessed as standard PPPs (via a ‘PBT assessment’), largely ignoring their inherent specificities. Paolo Viglione and Davide Ferrari, who are part of the SAGEA group which, among other things, works in the field of viticulture to support the sustainable use of copper as a broad-spectrum product to protect vine production, reported the findings of one of their studies which assesses the absence of side-effects of copper in the winemaking process and the quality parameters of wine.
Finally, Denis de Froidmont introduced the main EU legislation to regulate PPPs, as well as the EU action plan to strengthen organic production, which includes, for the wine sector, funding programs for research and innovation projects on alternatives to contentious inputs. Ingo Steitz presented the point of view of a winegrowers’ association, stressing the importance of copper for disease control, especially in the light of climate change. The discussions were then closed by a concluding speech from Nicolas Gailly.
Did you miss our event? Check out our streaming link posted here.
29 NOVEMBER 2021 | 4.00 – 19.45 CET
Minister dr. Jože Podgoršek
Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food for an introductory speech
FIRST ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION:
“Promoting our European way of life: Wine production as a European Heritage”
French Senate Vice-President, Co-President of the Association Nationale des Elus de la Vigne et du Vin (ANEV)
MEP Paolo de Castro
Former Italian Minister of Agriculture & Member of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee
Ignacio Sanchez Recarte
General Secretary Comité vins
SECOND ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION:
“Copper, an essential tool for sustainable wine production”
European Union Copper Task Force
Prof. Ettore Capri
Universita Cattolica, Piacenza
Emilia Romagna, Plant Protection Service • Paolo Viglione, Technical Director SAGEA Group & Davide Ferrari, Regional Director SAGEA Group
First Vice President of the Rhineland-Palatinate Farmers' and Winegrowers' Association & President for Wine-growing for the region of Rheinhessen
Denis de Froidmont
Senior Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Agriculture,
President of the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV) & Treasurer of the Cité du Vin for a concluding speech