Fairly traded and sustainable wines

What is Fairtrade?

The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent product certification label that guarantees a better deal to disadvantaged producers in developing countries. The price of each case of Fairtrade wine sold in the UK includes a Fairtrade premium which an elected committee ensures is used for projects that directly benefits the farm workers and the local community.

For more information go to www.fairtrade.org.uk

  • In 2013 Fairtrade wine grew by 15% in value to £27.5m
  • UK sales of products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark reached an estimated retail value of £1.78bn in 2013, an 14% increase on 2012
  • Awareness of the FAIRTRADE Mark rose to 78% in 2012 (Globescan 2012), up from 57% just five years ago in 2007
  • Given a choice of Fairtrade Certified wine, wine with other certifications and wine with no certification, 43% of consumers would choose the Fairtrade product (Globescan – February 2010)

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What is Fair for Life?

Fair for Life is a brand-neutral third party certification program for social accountability and fair trade in agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations. It was developed in 2006 due to demand from IMO clients. FFL builds on widely acknowledged baseline standards such as the conventions of ILO, SA 8000 and the social criteria of IFOAM. It includes detailed environmental criteria and complements existing fair trade certification systems. To gain certification you must undertake annual audits along entire supply chain.

The FFL system is well adapted to realities and challenges in small/medium-sized companies in developing/emerging countries. There currently are 120 FFL certified projects. As in some other Fairtrade certification, it does include a Social Development Premium which goes back to the workers, but, no license fee goes back to IMO.

FFL Fair Trade certified product sales rose by33% in 2013 and increased 44% in Q1 2014

For more information go to: www.fairforlife.net

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What is a no added sulphur wine?

Sulphur dioxide is one of the oldest known food additives and has been used in wine since ancient times when sulphur was burnt before sealing the wine in the barrels. It also develops naturally in wine as part of the fermentation process.

However it is also added as a preservative to prevent oxidation of the wine and at the grape-crushing stage as a cleansing agent to kill unwanted bacteria and wild yeasts.

We feel wine made without the addition of sulphur offer a great point of difference; the flavours are cleaner and more “transparent”. In red wines the colours are often better as SO2 can bleach colour.

For more information go to www.stellarorganics.com

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Why are some wines vegetarian or vegan friendly?

To remove proteins, yeasts, and other organic particles which are in suspension during the making of the wine, a fining agent is added to the top of the vat. As it sinks down, the particles adhere to the agent, and are carried out of suspension. Wineries might use animal-derived products as finings. The finings are carefully filtered out of the wine before it is bottled and not all wines are fined.

Examples of animal products used as finings are gelatin, isinglass, chitosan, casein and egg albumen. Some wines are fined with isinglass derived from fish bladders but when Kosher wines use isinglass it is not from the sturgeon, since this fish is not considered kosher.

Of these, casein and albumen (deriving from milk protein and egg white respectively) would be acceptable for vegetarians, but not for vegans. Amongst alternatives to animal products, is bentonite, a clay mineral, that can be used to clarify the wine. Some vintners also let the wine's sediments settle naturally, a time-consuming process.

What is Organic?

Organic refers to a system of farming that maintains and replenishes the fertility of the soil. The grapes are grown without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or fertilizers.

Only compost and organic materials are used, with indigenous vegetation for mulching.

Weeds and pests are controlled using environmentally sound practices that sustain the health of our planet and ultimately our own well-being.

In the cellar the maximum allowable quantity of sulphur dioxide is half that of the maximum permitted for conventional wines and certain chemicals are forbidden.

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