Brussels, 06 July 2023 – The European Committee of Wine Companies (Comité Vins – CEEV) welcomes Commission’s proposal for an EU soil monitoring and resilience law, which is a first key step towards better vineyard’s soil protection and regeneration in Europe. Yet more ambition will be needed to make long-term true impact.
As part of the EU Soil Strategy for 2030, the European Union has set a long-term target to have all soils in healthy condition by 2050, making protection, restoration and sustainable use and treatment of soils the norm. CEEV firmly believes that healthy soils are an absolute priority in adapting to our ever-changing climate and ensuring that vineyards are resilient to extreme weather conditions without impacting soil fertility.
“EU vineyards are a heritage we need to preserve and soils’ health is the fundamental basis for their long-term sustainability. The newly published proposal for a Soil Monitoring and Resilience Directive is a major step as it is the first EU legislation defining the concept of soil health” said Mauricio González-Gordon, President of CEEV.
“The EU has more than 3.2 million hectares of vines spread in very different pedoclimatic areas all around the continent. Considering this diversity, the proposed flexibility to adopt measures tailored to the regional and local specificities of soils is a necessity for the correct management of our vineyards.” he added.
Soil management in vineyards has been and remains a priority for the sector and adapted sustainable agriculture practices should continue to be fostered to restore and maintain vineyard’s soil in a healthy state. Introducing the obligation for Member States to set up ‘soil districts’ reflects well the need for developing a district-based management approach for an efficient soil protection and regeneration.
However, a significant gap remains to meet the EU’s ambitions for better soil health. While the proposed soil monitoring and resilience law provides a good basis for soil descriptors, indicators and sustainable soil management practices, it falls short on clear guidelines, innovative tools for soil use and restoration and on adequate funding for winegrowing transition towards more sustainable practices. An adequate support is paramount to mitigate the negative impact on income and productivity.
“Soil plays a fundamental role in how vines and grapes develop and, in fine, on the quality of our wines. CEEV will continue to engage with European institutions and stakeholders throughout the legislative process to help achieve a good level of soil protection, while recognizing the specificities of our sector and the diversity of viticultural practices in the different production regions” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV.
CEEV is a signatory of the European Commission’s Mission Soil Manifesto and stands ready to help develop an enhanced and ambitious European framework, building on national and local certification schemes for sustainable agriculture and viticulture.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – www.ceev.eu) represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products. It brings together 25 national organisations and its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports.