SUSTAINABLE WINE SOUTH AFRICA (SWSA)

Climate change

Climate change is expected to have a direct impact on South Africa's mean annual temperature and rainfall ranges, influencing pest and disease distributions, flowering and fruiting seasons, and ground water resources. Climate change also has an indirect impact through the growing awareness among consumers and the corresponding demand for carbon-efficient business processes. The agricultural sector is a large source of greenhouse gases (GHGs) through activities such as land-use change, agrochemical application and the use of fossil fuel.

The wine and fruit industry are collaborating to develop an information source on climate change and agriculture issues, a carbon calculator tool for South African fruit and wine producers, exporters and supply chain, and a data capturing resource able to provide valuable benchmarking statistics and trends for the industry. See www.climatefruitandwine.co.za

Increased severity of drought is predicted to be one of the major impacts of climate change to the agricultural sector, and the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) places a great deal of emphasis on the eradication of alien vegetation, which has an extremely negative impact on our water resources. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) global conservation organisation’s WWF-SA has started a water neutrality campaign in the winelands. Water neutrality implies a voluntary process whereby participants seek to quantitatively balance their water use accounts by both reducing their water usage and investing in projects which increase supplies of clean fresh water. See www.wwf.org.za/waterneutral