Healthy News for Organic Winemakers

Worldwide demand for New Zealand wine shows no sign of slowing, with export values increasing each year. Flavour and quality are vital for consumers around the world, but sustainability is right up there too.

NZ Organic wineries are now hoping a new agreement with China will further boost sales.

Chinese consumers have a preference for healthy and organic beverages, so greater access to one of the strongest global markets makes this agreement a huge win.

The Organic Exporters Association of New Zealand said a mutual recognition arrangement announced in February meant China now acknowledged NZ's organic standards. Prior to this, certified organic wine exporters had to bend over backwards (annually) to gain the appropriate recognition - including accommodating inspectors from China, and changes to labelling and stock management.

From a grape grower’s perspective, it’s all hands-on deck to bring the aspirations of organic growing to life, and machinery is one of many levers to pull. To maximise the opportunities of the MRA, growers will be seeking out innovative equipment to support their herbicide-free business practices.

Global controversy around glyphosate use is also forcing producers to mitigate the use of it – or at least transition away from it. PrimeHort, NZ’s major distributor of nursery supplies confirmed that glyphosate-free goals are not just consumer-driven but cost too. In just six months, they have seen the product rise from $140.00 per 20 litres to $355.00/20L.

For Moy Hall vineyard in Martinborough, one ingenuity to be herbicide free is mechanical weed control.

Owned by the McArthur family, Moy Hall vineyard use sustainable business practices to grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc with vine age ranging from 4-30 years. In a drive to cut out glyphosate use; Phil McArthur purchased an Italian-made Fischer Mower from FarmShop. He is impressed with its performance and the savings he achieved through FarmShop who directly import machinery (leaving out the middleman).

For organic farmers – any farmer - the economic argument must stack up when investing in machinery and this single piece has eradicated expensive chemicals and is easy to operate. “Without sprays, each row requires careful management with weeding under-vine and mowing - the Fischer is great, it’s precise, gentle around the plants and fits in well with our sustainable business philosophy.” Phil says.

Today’s wine consumer demands knowledge around how a product is produced and where it is made - machinery is just one piece of the puzzle, but it’s an important piece to get right. And with reduced compliance costs and increased certainty around organic exports to China – it feels like the accountant just gave machinery investment a nod for the new financial year.

TECH CHECK:

What is a Fischer Mower? Italian-made, adjustable, inter-row, hydraulic sensor mowing (fix-rear mounting). Great for traditional and organic operations. Softer on the plant. Own hydraulic system ensures correct pressure and does not rely on tractor’s performance. Metal rollers for stone protection. Available in multiple configurations.

Stock available now.
Contact the FarmShop team to find out more, or to request a demo.
0800 00 22 09 | sales@farmshop.co.nz