The Drinks Business Green Awards Shortlist has just been announced. The team at La Motte is delighted to have made the shortlist in two categories – Green company of the Year as well as for the Sustainability Award.
Personally I think such competitions are important in the way they create awareness for green issues. But if you really think about it, why would it be necessary for this kind of encouragement?
Well, first of all, you would think that it would be a natural thing for us to try and preserve what we have for generations to come, but for some reasons (some unfortunately quite understandable), this is not something that comes natural to everyone.
While Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains that the satisfaction of hunger and shelter will be more significant to someone that is hungry and cold than the idea of saving the world, there seems to be a certain short-mindedness when it comes to conservation even under those that can afford to think about it. A culture of using and replenishing is important in a commercial world, but it is this same culture of continuously acquiring new things that is responsible for us not valuing and conserving what we have.
That, for me, is why sustainability is so important. More than farming organically or biologically or biodynamically. More than seasonal cooking and local supply. More than many of these key concepts. And don’t get me wrong, I do believe in most of these and I do believe they are the actions required in order to be sustainable in the end, but sustainability really should be important to all of us because we want to leave a good place to live for our kids and their children.
Once you realise how important it is to preserve the earth on which we have built our world, then you will understand why it is important to buy seasonal and support local, to have an environmental conscience.
Having said that, no one will be enthusiastic about conserving the environment if they can’t survive financially. What will happen if we stop exporting fruit to the Northern Hemisphere? How will communities reliant on such industries survive?
That is why for me, sustainable is such a brilliant word. It is not about trying to sell only one concept or belief. It is about being sustainable. If organic farming is something you believe in and practice, but you realise that it is not sustainable because of low yields, poor soil, or whatever the reason might be – I say, rather find a way that is environmentally responsible, but that also makes it possible to farm sustainably.
In the wine world we all know the importance of balance. Ripe fruit and oak should be balanced by a good acidity otherwise the wine is flabby. In the same way, it is the balance implied by sustainability, that makes sustainability as a concept, sustainable.