Sustainability is a loaded term that can be used in a myriad of contexts. As farmers and wine producers, sustainability is especially important when it comes to the environment and profitability. We want to farm sustainably to protect the environment, our valuable resources and natural biodiversity. On the other hand, to farm sustainably, we need to ensure that we can do it profitably – and sustainably so. But does the two work together?
Will it not be more profitable to uproot the natural vegetation and plant vineyards everywhere? Will it not be more environmentally sustainable, to not plant vineyards at all? Other than our green conscience, is there merit in being so responsible and sustainable when it comes to doing business?
One might think that these questions should not even be asked by someone who really believes in sustainability. If you believe that we have to protect and treasure our environment and put a premium on nature conservation, you support it and contribute to it without questioning the economic benefit. That might be easier said than done for many. Everyone has to survive and questions in this regard are quite understandable.
There is good news. A recent Neilson study shows that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced products. And of this 66%, 73% are Millennials! (Read more) With this generation still young, we can only imagine that the trend will continue.
Does consumers have a conscience? It seems so! The modern consumer is better informed than ever before. Online ratings, panels and advice are always at hand and specially designed apps (such as the SASSI app), ensure everyone has the information and knowledge to make better choices.
With being informed, comes responsibility. Ignorance is no excuse. And it seems consumers today, realise this.
If your sustainability practices are in order, you now have a golden opportunity to sell your sustainably sourced and produced products. The challenge is in knowing how best to communicate this with the consumer – and I think we still have a lot to learn.
Still some way to go to ticking the sustainability box? You should get onto it right away!
“Sustainability is a key concern for the millennials generation. Companies have to adapt processes and production practices to make their products sustainable and seize the opportunities this rapidly growing generation of consumers creates.” (Read more)