Green Dreams from Sleepy Wanaka

Today’s guest blogger is AJ Humphreys, Negociants New Zealand’s Area Sales Manager in Otago & Southland.

AJ Humphreys

On Tuesday I celebrated Yalumba turning 160 by enjoying a glass of Yalumba Wild Ferment Chardonnay and a pizza with a good customer of mine. It reminded me of what a pioneering, progressive and forward-thinking company I work for – and I don’t say that just because I want to keep my job!

I live in a sleepy little ex-hippie (because all the hippies moved to cheaper digs once the Maseratis, Porsches and Audi 4WDs arrived) town called Wanaka, and I have always been a bit of a greenie at heart, so it warms me to see what a great job Yalumba are doing of  being an environmentally responsible business. In Wanaka we still live in a bit of a hungover haze left behind by the hippies, which means we have a fantastic recycling culture and environmental awareness. It was a trip to the recycling centre, taking my carboard and paper, on the weekend that got me thinking …

Last year Yalumba won a Beverage Packaging Action Award for efforts in minimising the impact of packaging, from design to disposal, and we are a finalist for the same award this year. As part of the National Packaging Covenant, Yalumba has a figure of 98% of its packaging using recycled materials or materials which can themselves be recycled, which is impressive. My thought was to expand on this and turn it into a story that can be used to drive Yalumba forward from the Rare & Fine wines on down.

Ready to ship

Ready to ship

With all the paper and card we use in our branches, perhaps we can to collect it all up and send it to Angaston (in containers of Nautilus, Jansz, Pol Roger etc so we don’t require extra shipping) to be recycled at a purpose-built plant. There could possibly be Federal assistance to support the venture and maybe a Yalumba Scholarship for resident artisan papermakers to produce stationery for the company and to sell at the farmers market behind the Vintners Bar & Grill.

Attached to this would be a printing press facility that could produce labels and cardboard packaging for our Rare & Fine wines. Perhaps a recycled label and cardboard box is a more tangible vehicle, which the customer can see and touch, to tell our sustainable message as opposed to a press release about an award we have won?  This is a story Jane Ferrari could have a lot of fun with … not to mention winning that packaging award every single year!

Just a thought from a sleepy little hideaway.

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