Friday, 19 March 2010

"Organic" Wine

I saw this fascinating post in the New York Times Freakonomics Blog  last week. It seems that labelling wine organic doesn't offer the price premium that it does with other organic products.

I have always had a bug bear about farming legislation which distinguishes between organic and conventional farming. The onus and expense of certification should be reversed where organic should be the default position rather than an expensive, bureaucratic choice.

The bureaucratic burden should be placed on the farmers who wish to use pesticides and fertilisers (whether organic or not) through the purchase of licences and taxed on the use of environmentally harmful products and there should be regular checks on all farmers to make sure that they are in compliance. 

I would prefer to see a list of chemicals used on the produce I buy- a list of ingredients with their relative levels.

Wine should certainly not be excluded from this as I think most people would be horrified to know what goes into some of the more industrial "wine beverages" that are available on the lists of even the finest wine merchants.

I am certain that there is a kernal of an idea here- it isn't entirely practical and I am not convinced that this would always help inform the consumers' decisions, but the fact that a chicken can be pumped full of antibiotics (not on the label), plumped with all sorts of hydrogenated fats (on the label) and we still accept a bottle of wine that tells us nearly nothing, makes me wish I could raise one eye-brow...

Charlotte will have more to say on this I am sure!

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