How Insurance Empowers Sustainable Winemaking

Shifting to more sustainable winemaking practices brings risks that require mitigation. Personalized beverage insurance can be the answer.

Barrels on Trailers

More and more people are coming to understand the importance of sustainability, and the wine industry is no different, but shifting to more sustainable winemaking practices brings risks that require mitigation. Personalized beverage insurance can be the answer to this problem.

Sustainability in the wine industry

Experts in the wine industry have yet to come to a consensus about what sustainability in this field would look like. However, there is broad agreement that new technologies and green management strategies have the potential to decrease the industry’s carbon footprint substantially. Avoiding pesticides and growing organic ingredients is one promising direction, and some wineries are also moving away from the conventional glass bottle, which is responsible for most of this industry’s negative impact on the planet.

Still, adopting new techniques or equipment might seem too risky to many wine companies. Shifting operations to a more sustainable footing means change, and human error can increase simply because equipment or procedures are different. Sometimes, this is purely because doing things on autopilot suddenly means doing them wrong — after all, why risk spoiling or otherwise losing wine, along with the returns that would come with it, when the traditional way has been working?

Yet sustainability is the wave of the future, and making the transition sooner rather than later will not only benefit the planet but will also benefit the company. 

See also: Bringing Innovation From Australia to U.S.

Building resilient, sustainable wineries and vineyards

Because customers are increasingly making purchasing decisions with the planet in mind, going green is also the smart choice for wineries, vineyards and other beverage companies. Indeed, a 2023 YouGov poll found that 68% of customers consider environmental factors when deciding which products or services to buy. Winemakers can extend their market share by appealing to these environmentally conscious customers.

In addition, vineyards, wineries and other beverage companies rely on consistent weather patterns and stable soil conditions. Climate change, however, is making the weather increasingly unpredictable and unleashing a plethora of ills across the globe, from wildfires and floods to droughts, fierce winds, destructive storms and irrigation difficulties, as well as diseases that take out entire seasons of crops. As a result, some experts believe certain wine regions in France, Spain, Portugal, Australia, South Africa and California will stop being productive by 2050.

Wineries and vineyards can best prepare for these challenges through comprehensive risk management plans. Customized beverage insurance is a key component of these, helping ease the transition to resilient, sustainable technologies and procedures by protecting the business.

Insurance mitigates risks during the green transition

First and foremost, beverage insurance can cover the value of your harvested fruit, in-process wine, libraried offerings and other beverages. That way, if you can’t bring your wine or other offering to market due to spoilage or some unforeseen issue, you can still receive the return on investment your hard labor is due. Beverage insurance can even cover your costs if you were to make a blending mistake.

Second, beverage insurance can cover vines, grapes, trellises and fences, wine caves and all relevant buildings, as well as your equipment. Accidents can happen when people are unfamiliar with gear or new layouts, but with this coverage you can fix or replace things without having to reach into your own pocket twice. These policies can also cover your wine while in transit, including international air shipments.

In addition, beverage insurance can shield your enterprise from a host of other ills, from the damage caused by natural disasters to the liability issues involved in having employees serving alcohol.

See also: Climate Change and Product Liability

How to personalize your beverage insurance

To get the most out of your insurance policy, however, don’t settle for a general one. Instead, work with an agent who specializes in companies like yours, has a track record of filing successful claims, can ask questions about your specific business and demonstrates an in-depth understanding of your industry.

Additionally, make sure to build a partnership with your insurance agent. In particular, keep them abreast of the changes your company is making in its quest for greater sustainability. That’s the only way to ensure your policy is up to date and won’t develop vulnerabilities that show themselves at the worst possible moment. Every time your venture adds or changes equipment, procedures or locations, your insurance agent should be among the first to know.

Those wineries and vineyards that make the transition to sustainable viticulture will reap the rewards. Position your company at the forefront of this zeitgeist with a comprehensive risk management plan that includes personalized beverage insurance.

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