1. Governance and continuous improvement
Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is managed by the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) with governance, endorsement and active support from Australian Grape & Wine and Wine Australia. Input to the program is also provided by a Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), convened by Australian Grape & Wine, which includes program users, regional representatives and other key stakeholders. The committee provides insights and recommendations to Australian Grape & Wine on emerging issues affecting the reputation, resilience and sustainability of Australia’s grape and wine producers, which are used to guide advocacy in the political and regulatory environment. The committee helps identify and make recommendations to the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia joint steering committee (which has representatives from the AWRI, Wine Australia and Australian Grape & Wine) on emerging sustainability issues that may affect the program.
All data collected from members is managed under the program’s website terms and conditions, which ensure confidentiality and privacy of all individual member information.
2.1 Membership types
Sustainable Winegrowing Australia membership is available to all Australian vineyards and wineries, and Australian and international wine businesses. Vineyards, wineries and wine businesses must hold separate memberships because the data generated by vineyards, wineries and wine businesses is different.
Vineyard membership may be held by any Australian wine-grape vineyard. Multiple vineyard blocks/sites may be covered under a single membership if the sites are owned by a single business entity, operate under a single management system and are in the same GI region. Separate memberships are required for vineyard blocks/sites that are owned by different businesses, are managed differently (e.g. organic versus conventional) or are in different GI regions. Hypothetical examples of these membership scenarios are provided here.
Winery membership may be held by any Australian winery site.
Wine Business membership
A wine business is a business which sells wine, but which does not own any physical vineyard or winery assets. Wine businesses may or may not be directly involved in the winemaking process. For example, a wine business may buy finished wine and not be involved in the winemaking process or it may, in some cases, employ a winemaker who operates through a contract arrangement at a third-party wine processing facility.
3. Period of membership
Membership covers the financial year 1 July to 30 June.
For existing members, membership is renewed between 1 July and 31 August each year. All membership reporting including the data and workbook must be entered by 31 August and the renewal fee must be received by 14 September.
New members may join the program at any time during the year. All data must be submitted and payment complete within two months from the join date.
All data supplied are for the previous financial year; for example, 2021/22 membership commences in July 2021. The data and information supplied at that time is from the 2020/21 financial year.
3.1 Membership suspension
Members may be suspended from the program for the following reasons:
- Existing members do not submit their reporting before 31 August and/or do not make payment before 14 September each year.
- New members do not complete their Sustainable Winegrowing Australia reporting and/or do not make payment within two months of joining the program.
- Members supply false or misleading information.
- Members do not comply with the website terms and conditions.
- Members use the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia name and/or trust mark in any way that is not in accordance with the trust mark rules of use, could mislead the public or bring the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia program into disrepute.
Certified members will forfeit their ‘Certified’ status if:
- A current audit certificate is not uploaded to the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia member website.
- The member unreasonably delays or defers an audit.
- The member is in breach of the Freshcare Rules which are available from within the Standards (linked below).
- The member does not complete or does not submit their reporting for Sustainable Winegrowing Australia before 31 August and/or does not make payment before 14 September each year.
If a member is suspended from Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, and the ground/s for suspension are not capable of rectification or, if capable of rectification, the business does not take the necessary action/s to rectify them within a timeframe specified, the membership may be withdrawn, and the business’s details will be removed from the online list of members.
3.2 Membership categories
There are two membership categories (members and certified members). Members can choose the category that best suits their needs.
Members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia must annually report the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia business metrics and complete the self-assessment workbook. Members do not require an independent audit to remain members. Becoming a member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia is a pathway to becoming a certified member.
Certified members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia choose to be certified by undergoing an independent third-party audit against the approved certification standards for viticulture and wineries:
Australian Wine Industry Standards of Sustainable Practice – Viticulture – Edition 1 (AWISSP – VIT1) – available here.
Australian Wine Industry Standards of Sustainable Practice – Winery – Edition 1.1 (AWISSP – WIN1.1) – available here.
For more information regarding certification, refer to section 5.
4. Membership fees
Membership fees are due at the time of completion of the data and workbook each year. Membership fees are shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Sustainable Winegrowing Australia membership feesa.
|Vineyard memberships||Winery memberships||Wine business memberships|
|Vineyard area (ha)||Price
|Winery crush (t)||Price
|Wine volume (kL)||Price
|<25||$ 149||<2,000||$ 440||<1,500||$ 440|
|25 – 99||$ 160||2,000 – 9,999||$ 660||1,500 – 7,499||$ 660|
|100 – 249||$ 198||10,000 – 19,999||$ 825||7,500 – 14,999||$ 825|
|250 – 499||$ 275||≥20,000||$ 1,100||≥15,000||$ 1,100|
a Fees are quoted in Australian dollars and include GST. Fees are for one year’s membership (1 July -30 June), payable during the July/August renewal period and are not refundable.
Certified members commit to an independent audit once every three years against the certification standards.
5.1 Certification standards
The Australian Wine Industry Standards of Sustainable Practice for Viticulture and Wineries (AWISSP – VIT/WIN) were implemented in 2020. The standards are owned and independently maintained by Freshcare Ltd. Certified Wine Business members are audited against the AWISSP – WIN.
5.2 Certification process
The process for achieving certification:
- Attend a one-off Freshcare certification training workshop.
- Successfully complete an audit with an approved certification body.
- Upload a copy of a valid audit certificate to the Sustainable Winegrowing Australia member website and receive approval from the AWRI.
Certification can be renewed by achieving a successful audit every three years.
5.3 Certification bodies
Registered certification bodies that can audit the wine industry sustainability standards include:
NASAA Certified Organic (NCO)
5.4 Audit certificates
Audit certificates are issued from the certification body within 10 business days of the successful audit and payment of the audit fee.
6. The Sustainable Winegrowing Australia trust mark
The Sustainable Winegrowing Australia trust mark is available for use by all certified members of the program, subject to compliance with the trust mark rules of use, which includes a brief style guide and a list of FAQs.
7. Affiliate users
The Sustainable Winegrowing Australia platform is accessible to affiliate users as well as members. The access fee for affiliate users is dependent on the requested access and use by that user. Affiliate users may be granted access to certain deidentified and aggregated data by AWRI, and access to certain member information by approval of such members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. Affiliate users are not permitted to use the trust mark in any manner.
These Program terms may be amended by AWRI at any time, such amendments to take effect ten (10) Business Days after posting of the amendments on the Member Website.
Program terms updated: 30 June 2023