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Sustainable Interactions: Fondazione SOStain Sicilia to cover the topic of green vine growing and wine making

Sustainability experts from within different regulatory and productive frameworks has taken part in the second International Symposium on Sustainable Interactions promoted by Fondazione SOStain Sicilia to be held at Torre del Barone di Sciacca (AG) on October 5th. The Symposium has now become a way for experts in the field to exchange their ideas and experiences on a regular basis; however, it also highlights the key role played by Sicily in terms of the best practices implemented by an increasing number of wineries complying with the SOStain protocol – the latter having been envisaged for a green, fair, and profitable vine-growing activity. 

Actually, the goal of SOStain is precisely to achieve sustainability in the Sicilian wine sector based on the program envisaged by Fondazione SOStain Sicilia and promoted by the Consortium for the Protection of Sicilian Doc Wines and Assovini. Now Sicily ranks first among the Italian regions for its organic vineyard surface area and the number of local companies wishing to assess and reduce their impact on the ecosystem under the SOStain protocol through good practices at all production stages is ever-increasing. Indeed, the Foundation currently boasts 40 member companies, 24 of them being certified and occupying an area of 5,703 vine-covered hectars producing a total number of 21,342,093 bottles.

Sustainable Interactions: symposium organized in Sicily by Fondazione SOStain Sicilia to cover the topic of green vine growing and wine making
Alberto Tasca, President of the SOStain Foundation

“The Sustainability Symposium aims at providing speakers from Italy and abroad with the chance to engage in a dialogue hopefully contributing to a wider-ranging knowledge on sustainability and its need for a multidisciplinary approach”, says Alberto Tasca, President of the SOStain Foundation. “We therefore listened to experts in fields not necessarily connected to either the productive or commercial sides of our work that, still, are key to give rise to new R&D projects. When it comes to protecting and keeping Sicily’s natural, economic, and social heritage, our goal is to raise the standards even further through a network that may produce a way of thinking as well as a working method orbiting around the Common Good and stakeholders’ synergy”.

Sustainable Interactions: a symposium organized by Fondazione SOStain Sicilia helded at Torre del Barone di Sciacca

The Symposium has included 4 panels where the latest developments in the SOStain world and the sustainability plans implemented by the Foundation partners will be tackled together with the issue of environmental education and the relevant economic impact. 

Panel 1 started with Anna Favella, an actress and an activist, as the debate moderator, followed by Alberto Tasca, President of the SOStain Foundation, who welcomed the participants on behalf of the Board and report last year’s Foundation data. 

Then, Lucrezia Lamastra, Coordinator of the Foundation Technical-Scientific Committee and Professor at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Piacenza), has given her talk on Measuring sustainability in wine: results by Fondazione SOStain Sicilia.

Panel 2, Sezione Natura, opened by Francesco Picciotto, from the Sicilian Regional Government Conservation Areas Department, with his talk on Education to land and interpreting the environment as a way to reconnect with nature within the regional conservation areas system; Gaetano Benedetto, President of WWF Italy Research Centre, followed with a talk on The “30×30” challenge: can Sicily play a key role in the new biodiversity protection strategy? Gianluca Sarà, teacher and ecology lab coordinator at Palermo University, has then taken the floor on Biodiversity as a keystone in a changing world followed by Paolo Fontana, an entomologist from the Mach Foundation in Trento, who covered the topic of Bees as an indicator of environmental quality, Attilio Carapezza, an entomologist and President of the Sicilian Society of Natural Sciences, talked on Insect decline and countryside silence, and Marco Pistocchini, from Lombardy Regional Park “Campo dei fiori”, whose talk has revolve around Forest life: how to defend oneself from water and fire. Campo dei Fiori as a best practice. Finally, Maurizio Cellura, Director of the Palermo University Centre for Sustainability and Ecological Transition, gave his speech on Energy transition: wishful thinking or actual planning? 

Sustainable Interactions: symposium organized in Sicily by Fondazione SOStain Sicilia to cover the topic of green vine growing and wine making

Panel 3 – Economia e Società – started with Matteo Ward, CEO and co-founder of WRÅD as well as author of the docuseries Junk – Armadi pieni, and his talk on The real cost of Fast Fashion; then, Christian Sarkar, from the Regenerative Marketing Institute and The Marketing Journal, spoke about Regeneration: The Future Of Community In A Permacrisis World. Gianfranco Marrone, Professor of Semiotics at Palermo University and Director of the International Centre for Semiotic Sciences “Umberto Eco” in Urbino, followed with his talk Beyond nature and culture: earthly, while Fabio Piccoli, editor-in-chief of Wine Meridian, has engaged in a comparison between “certified sustainability” and “demonstrated sustainability”, and Deborah Parker Wong, from Slow Wine USA gave a talk on Insights to a Sustainable Future Views, Trends, and the US Market Potential for Wine.

The last Panel included the following SOStain partners: Fondazione Allianz “Umanamente” (EduSostain Project, Philanthropy generates sustainability), Unicredit (Sustainable finance supporting sustainable innovation), Amorim Cork (Workplace wellbeing as a driver of success), and O-I (“The 100% Sicilian bottle” as a best practice of circularity and impact reduction).

The Symposium has been attended by approximately 50 journalists from both Italy and abroad.

SOStain Foundation: the topic of green vine growing and wine making in Sicily

SOStain has been launched by the Consortium for the Protection of Sicilian Doc Wines and Assovini Sicilia to promote sustainability in the Sicilian wine sector. The Foundation currently boasts 40 member companies, 24 of them being certified and occupying an area of 5,703 vine-covered hectars producing a total number of 21,342,093 bottles, who share the will to embrace best practices aimed at protecting and enhancing biodiversity as well as local communities. 

However, with more companies about to become full members, the Foundation will certainly strengthen its commitment to make the world a better place for future generations to live in, which also makes it a model contributing to transforming Sicily into a fortunate island. 

Indeed, Sicily now ranks first among the Italian regions for both its organic vineyard surface area (accounting for 30% of the total Italian figure) and sustainable vine-growing activities (i.e., complying with the relevant disciplinary for organic wine and integrated production), with over 42 thousand hectares.