(DON’T) GO ORGANIC!
Over the last months, I’ve meditated many times over this long postponed post. I have cogitated on the core reasons that motivate me as organic producer, on how easy it is to lose sight of the true path and how one always ends up finding it back.
Today I want to tell you the real story of the 2016 vintage.
I DO ASK FOR YOUR PARDON.
First of all, I apologize for having not written since last summer, but I must admit this has been a really hard vintage.
As far as I am concerned, harder than the infamously notorious 2014 vintage.
Beware! Harder not only because of the intense rains of May and June, nor because of the sleepless nights watching the thermometer recording 3°C in the middle of the blooming season.Harder not even because of the downpours of July, nor for the haze and whirlwinds that broke down the vines…
I’m saying it because for the first time ever, my faith deserted me.
I ADMIT IT, I UNDERSTAND THOSE WHO PRODUCE CONVENTIONAL WINES
To produce a good quality wine it is enough to know the” basics” of a trade that is passed on from a generation to the next.
To produce a good quality organic wine, one must have faith.
I understand them.
I understand the reasons that push my producer friends to grow their grapes using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides: products that guarantee a constant quality standard and therefore a constant income over years.
Please, don’t misunderstand me.
Being graduated in Economics and Management, I can’t but recognize that inputs, managed by the agricultural entrepreneur, aim (beware, always within the legal frame) at maximizing profits. I don’t need to remind anyone, especially in this period of crisis, that: Profits=Investments=Employment.
Why should I disagree then with those who refuse to leave the conventional farming to embrace the many uncertainties of organic farming? Would you be confident enough to abruptly leave “guaranteed” methods that, especially in these seasons gone crazy due to the climatic change, enable you to protect your vineyard (your most treasured possession)?
Faith was deserting me right for this reason: my wish to maximize my profit only allowed me to see that my competitors with conventional wines were not as affected by the bad weather as I was.
And this was it.
I SAW THE LIGHT AGAIN
December, the day had come to taste for the first time the Organic Prosecco vintage 2016.
I headed for the winery, a little unwilling I admit it, and in the company of the winemaker, we started the tasting.
I only had to take the glass close to the nose, and everything got clear in instant.
2016 may not have been a peaceful and calm vintage as in 2015, but it has given me a product of exceptional quality.
My efforts had paid off.
I then started a period of personal introspection that ended with the rediscovery of the real reasons behind my choice of becoming an Organic Prosecco producer.
WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL COST OF AN AGRICULTURAL PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT?
After the 2016 vintage tasting, I started wondering whether entering under the column “Costs” of the profit and loss statement a hypothetical environmental cost, the balance sheet would still be positive.
Most likely, in the short time the conventional producer would be right: the usage of chemicals allows to maximize the profit, even in difficult years.
But, what does happen in the long term?
What is the price that every agricultural entrepreneur will have to pay when his soils will be less and less productive due to the excessive exploitation?
What will be the cost every company will bear to cure a population more and more poisoned by those chemicals now deemed essentials?
I have sinned, confessed and now after my repentance. I am ready to make amendment and swear a solemn oath.
I commit myself as the Happy Farmer to continue producing high-quality Organic Prosecco, respecting nature and the consumers’ health. Besides, I commit myself as the Economist Happy Farmer to researching at micro-economical level (since the macro level data are well know to everyone) what is the cost born by every company for the conventional farming impact.
This is a promise, and as usual, the final judgment is yours!