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MAR DE FRADES PRESENTS ITS CONSCIOUS SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMME
Mar de Frades has made a commitment to this generation and those to come who will be faced with the various crises which threaten the future of the planet and are responding by launching its conscious sustainability programme. The Galicia-based winery has set the foundations for what will be a firm and safe path towards a more sustainable and aware future.
As Paula Fandiño, Technical Director at Mar de Frades, asserts “For us, choosing the path of sustainability is a no-brainer. Already in 2021 we have achieved certain milestones such as the Vegan certification for our wines and admission to Wineries for Climate Protection. Each day we will be able to take new steps with the aim of leaving the smallest possible footprint in performing our activities, as well as raising awareness of the reality and difficulty which our immediate surroundings are experiencing, and which give Mar de Frades its unique identity: primarily its vineyards, the rivers and the sea.”
Over the last 25 years the sea level has risen by double what was forecast, a third of marine species are in danger and it is calculated that in 2048 fish will have become extinct. The planet has 10 years to put a stop to the catastrophe caused by climate change.
Extreme climate and weather events are increasingly serious and have become one of the priorities at European and global level. It is crucial to find an urgent solution to the triple crisis affecting our planet: the crisis of climate change, the crisis of biodiversity and nature and the crisis of pollution and waste.
Mar de Frades is faced by a present conditioned by increasingly more marked and unstable changes in the climate in Galicia, directly affecting how it conducts its activity and the wine it produces.
“Warmer winters accompanied by heavy rainfall lead to early ripening and the mildew oospore; minimum temperatures are higher allowing any outbreak of the fungus, however small, hotter summers combined with the district’s sandy loam soils, which do not retain moisture, cause water stress in the plant, and more extreme and changing weather events cause an advancement of the vines’ growing cycle.” explains Monica Chaves, Head of Viticulture at Mar de Frades.
Spurred on by, and more aware of the problem, the Galician winery has developed solutions in its conscious programme – which will be evolving continuously – which are set out in proportion to its ability to react, such as the commitment to a 20% reduction in the four pillars of the WFCP by 2023, as well as working in other areas related to the vineyard, such as improving biodiversity, precision agriculture, smart irrigation systems, sustainable composting practices for waste or the reduction of the weight of the bottle and elimination of plastic in the packaging.
This programme can be summed up as:
-Certification from Wineries for Climate Protection (WFCP)
Recently Mar de Frades has been recognised with this certification developed by the Federación Española del Vino (FEV). It involves a series of criteria which a sustainable bodega must meet in terms of the environment. In this way it acts on the four basic pillars: reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases (GEI), water management, reduction of waste and energy efficiency and renewable sources of power.
For 2023, the Mar de Frades’ target is to have reduced water consumption, emissions of gases and electricity consumption by 20% and to achieve 0 waste.
-Reduction of the weight of the bottle and elimination of plastics
Mar de Frades is working to reduce the weight of the iconic glass bottle, which will mean a reduction of 16% in the 93 tonnes of glass per year and 47 tonnes of CO2. In addition, from 2020, plastic labels have been replaced by paper ones.
-Actions in the vineyard
Natural fertilisers: Mar de Frades uses sheep for grazing, so that as they feed, the sheep keep the rows of the vineyard clean. Also, since 2019, compost is used as a fertiliser and now worms have been added which help the retention and filtration of the water, providing the soil with nutrients and having a barrier effect on pests and diseases. All these measures help reduce the use of herbicides as well as caring for the ecosystem.
Looking after biodiversity: It fosters the diversification of habitats, for example, with the use of cover crops to help the biological control of pests and to prevent the proliferation of exotic invasive plants. Parallel to this, Mar de Frades is involved in the protection of camellias, increasing the cultivation of different varieties in order to preserve the species, which arrived in Galicia from China or Japan at the end of the 18th century.
Precision agriculture: With the aim of reducing the use of phytosanitary treatments, since 2021 Mar de Frades uses modelling of botrytis, downy and powdery mildew in its vineyards, which along with weather stations, make it possible to predict in advance when these three diseases are going to appear and thereby avoid systematic treatments and localise the disease saving 30% in the treatments.
All these plans share a clear, firm underlying concept: generating the minimum possible impact on the planet and taking care of the environment as an indispensable requirement for conducting its activity.