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Marketing Sustainability

January 2008
 
by Laurie Daniel
 
 
Centaral Coast's Sustainable Ag Expo
Attendees, from left, Fritz Helzer, Mesa Vineyard Management (MVM); Jim Seay; Bryan Wallingford, MVM; Greg Hibbits, MVM; Stasi Seay, Diageo Chateau & Estates; Darryl Salm, Valley Farm Management.
PHOTOS: Dave Coronel
 
Paso Robles, Calif. -- As more growers and wineries adopt sustainable practices, how can they get that message out to consumers? Do consumers even care if a wine is sustainably produced? Sustainability in the marketplace was a key topic at the Central Coast Vineyard Team's third annual Sustainable Ag Expo, held Nov. 1 and 2 at the Paso Robles Event Center.
 
The expo was heavy on topics of interest to the wine industry, such as cold hardiness, and weed control in the vineyard. But the program extended beyond wine and viticulture.
Centaral Coast's Sustainable Ag Expo
Kate Peringer, the Hartman Group, spoke about consumer perceptions of sustainabilty.
Centaral Coast's Sustainable Ag Expo
Robert Wample, CSU, Fresno, led a session on grapevine responses to low temperatures.
Kate Peringer, marketing communication manager for the Hartman Group, a Bellevue, Wash.-based market research firm, discussed the company's study on consumer perceptions of sustainability.

"Core" consumers look at the global impact of purchasing decisions, and vote with their wallets. It's important to follow these core consumers, "to stay ahead of the curve," Peringer said.
Centaral Coast's Sustainable Ag Expo
Anji Perry, right, J. Lohr Vineyards, samples some Central Coast wine.
Centaral Coast's Sustainable Ag Expo
Kevin Merrill, Mesa Vineyard Management.
 
Researchers at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo surveyed wine buyers, learning that price was the most decisive factor, but sustainability made labels more attractive.

The next expo is scheduled for November 2008 in the Monterey area. For updates, check with vineyardteam.org or sustainableagexpo.org.
 
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