Environmental – Viticulture
The Freshcare Code of Practice – Environmental Viticulture offers wine grape growers a comprehensive, easy to follow and outcomes based environmental assurance program, specifically designed to aid in achieving and demonstrating real environmental outcomes. The current edition (2nd Edition) of the Code of Practice can be downloaded here.
Compliance with the Freshcare Code of Practice – Environmental Viticulture is one of the steps required in the process of gaining Entwine Australia membership.
There are two sections of the Environmental Viticulture Code, outlined below:
- Scope and commitment
- Internal audit and corrective action
- Environmental action planning
- Land and soil
- Fertiliser and soil additives
It is a requirement that all businesses participating in the Freshcare VIT program, have at least one business representative complete training.
Freshcare training ensures each participating business has a full understanding of the Environmental Viticulture Code requirements, how they are applicable to their business and what needs to be implemented and prepared to demonstrate compliance at audit.
Freshcare training options include: group courses, one-on-one, and online.
Details of training options and providers can be found here: Freshcare Training.
Freshcare training prepares participants for integrating the program requirements into their business production and operating systems.
Training course materials include all the record keeping documents required to be kept for compliance. Resource materials are also provided for further information.
Some elements of the Code require verification testing be completed to demonstrate compliance. It is recommended that all verification testing be completed prior to audit.
Once the VIT program has been implemented within your business, and required records have been established, you can prepare for a third party audit to verify compliance.
To become Freshcare certified you must first successfully complete and pass an audit. To schedule a VIT audit contact the Freshcare approved Certification Bodies.
Freshcare VIT audits can be conducted at any time of year when access to growing sites and chemical stores is available. It is recommended that if you participate in both Freshcare VIT and WIN, a combined audit be arranged to offer savings in time and costs – see Combined Audits.
All Freshcare Certification Bodies have auditors who are able to audit across a number of industry standards (not just Freshcare). Therefore you may be able to schedule your Freshcare audit with other industry standards / management programs as required. To organise a combined audit you must advise the Certification Body at the time of booking.
The various Freshcare Codes of Practice have been developed for ease of integration and combined certification audits. Therefore if you are participating in more than one Freshcare program such as VIT and WIN, please advise the Certification Body when booking your audit to ensure a suitably qualified auditor is scheduled.
Once you have successfully completed an audit and resolved any corrective actions raised, a Freshcare certificate will be issued via your Certification Body.
A copy of your certificate is also available via your FreshcareOnline login.
To maintain your Freshcare VIT certification, triennial audits are required to be undertaken. It is also a requirement that businesses certified to Freshcare VIT are also registered with Entwine Australia for interim reporting.
Entwine is the Australian wine industry’s national environmental assurance program. Entwine provides a mechanism for Australian wine grape growers and winemakers to be acknowledged for their environmental practices according to recognised international standards.
Entwine Australia was developed by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) with support from the Federal Government through the Caring for Our Country program in 2009.
From 1 August 2015, the management of Entwine Australia was transferred to the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). The AWRI is transforming Entwine in preparation for relaunch in October 2015.
The current requirements for viticulture participants of Entwine Australia are:
- be certified against a recognised, independently audited environmental certification program such as Freshcare Environmental Viticulture (audited at least every three years),
- report each year against the Entwine Australia resource use indicators,
- pay an annual Entwine Australia membership fee.
Visit www.awri.com.au/industry_support/entwine/ for more information, including Entwine Member search, and access to the Entwine Australia resource use indicators.