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Sustainable Bacardi And Fair Trade Wine

Beverage manufacturers are increasingly investing in production efficiencies that bring down the embedded water and energy in their products. An important part of this effort at holistic management focuses on product distribution, an area in which Bacardi USA has invested heavily. The US spirits and wine producer was recently awarded a SmartWay Excellence Award by the US Environmental Protection Agency for its freight management system.

Two-thirds of shipments out of Bacardi’s Jacksonville, Florida, bottling facility are by train and one third by road. In 2009, that ratio was the other way around. Other low-energy innovations in the family owned firm’s logistics operations are the use of battery-operated forklifts and motion sensing lighting in its warehouses. Medium and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for an estimated 22% of all US transport-related greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 2% for rail, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Meanwhile, global sales of fair-trade wine hit an all-time high. For the first time since its founding 20 years before, sales of Fairtrade-certified goods fell in 2014. Wine bucked the trend, however. According to a new study by the Co-op, a UK retailer, global sales of wine under the Fairtrade Foundation label rose by 9% in 2014 to a record £27.5m (equivalent to 22.2m litres). The Co-op, whose Fairtrade wine range extends to 25 brands, controls two-thirds of the UK’s Fairtrade wine market.

Other supermarkets stocking Fairtrade wine in the UK include Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose. According to the Co-op, more than three in four (78%) UK consumers say they would buy a bottle of fairly-traded wine. A separate study by the Fairtrade Foundation finds that sales of fairly-traded wine in South Africa increased by 18% in 2014. With 26 certified producers, South Africa is home to more than half (57%) of the world’s Fairtrade certified producers. Other producing countries include Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Lebanon. In 2013, small farmers and workers on plantations received £635,000 in the additional Fairtrade Premium.

Originally published by Innovation Forum as part of their Management briefing for Beverage Sector- January 2016:

Innovation Forum