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CRISTINA SANTINI, ALESSIO CAVICCHI, AND LEONARDO CASINI 1.1 INTRODUCTION The wine industry is definitely engaged in sustainability. The emerging interest in sustainability is confirmed by a growing body of academic literature as well as by the rise of new academic journals and scientific communities. Also, the industry has shown an involvement in sustainability in general; people in the wine industry wonder about the effectiveness of sustainable practices and under what conditions it pays to be oriented towards sustainability. Talking about sustainability opens up a multitude of research issues, especially in wine, where being sustainable is often misunderstood with being organic or biodynamic. This paper investigates background research on sustainability in wine; it outlines what are the main challenges that scholars must face when they deal with this research issue. After having provided a description of research trends, the paper will highlight the determinants of a firm’s orientation towards sustainability and the role that research has in promoting sustainability.
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R E V I E W Open Access
Sustainability in the wine industry: key questions
and research trends
a
Cristina Santini
1*
, Alessio Cavicchi
2
and Leonardo Casini
3
* Correspondence:
santini.cristina@gmail.com
1
Faculty of Agriculture, Università
San Raffaele, Via Val Cannuta 247,
Roma, Italy
Full list of author information is
available at the end of the article
Abstract
Sustainability is playing a key role in the wine industry as shown by the attention
paid at several levels by the academia, institutions and associations. Nevertheless, the
principle itself of sustainability opens a wide debate and it significantly affects firms
in all their activities.
Using a systematic literature review, this paper wants to highlight some of the
questions that academics must face when they approach the issue of sustainability
with a specific focus on the wine industry. In particular the paper aims to: highlight
where research is going and what has already been done; define the contribution of
background research in explaining the determinants of sustainable orientation in the
wine industry; and understand the role of research (and academicssocial
responsibility) for the diffusion of a sustainable orientation within the wine industry.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed overview of the main research
contributions to the issue of sustainability in the wine industry.
Keywords: Research trends; Sustainability; Systematic literature review
Review
Introduction
The wine industry is definitely engaged in sustainability. The emerging interest in sus-
tainability is confirmed by a growing body of academic literature as well as by the rise
of new academic journals and scientific communities. Also, the industry has shown an
involvement in sustainability in general; people in the wine industry wonder about the
effectiveness of sustainable practices and under what conditions it pays to be oriented
towards sustainability. Talking about sustainability opens up a multitude of research is-
sues, especially in wine, where being sustainable is often misunderstood with being or-
ganic or biodynamic. This paper investigates background research on sustainability in
wine; it outlines what are the main challenges that scholars must face when they deal
with this research issue. After having provided a description of research trends, the
paper will highlight the determinants of a firms orientation towards sustainability and
the role that research has in promoting sustainability.
So many green nuances
The word sustainabilityhas so many definitions that it holds a shadow of ambiguity
(Warner 2007). Sustainability can be seen as a concept based on various principles (de
Bruyn and van Drunen 2004): economic principles (maximising welfare and improving
© Santini et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
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efficiency), ecological principles (living within carrying capacities and conservation of
resources) and equity-principles that concern intragenerational and intergenerational
equity (the disparity of wealth among different regions of the world or among
generations).
(Ohmart 2008) gives an idea of how complex it is to be sustainable in agriculture:
sustainability involves everything you do on the farm, including economics, environ-
mental impacts of everything done on the farm and all aspects of human resources, in-
cluding not only you and your family but your employees and the surrounding
community(Ohmart 2008): 7.
Nevertheless, there is no univocal sustainable behaviour and some companies should
be considered more sustainable than others. (Isaak 2002) distinguishes between green
and green-green businesses;green green businesses are green oriented since their start
up, whilst green businesses become green after that managers- who are not inspired by
ethical issues - have intuited the benefits (in terms of marketing, corporate image posi-
tive feedbacks or cost savings) that being sustainablemight create for the company.
In a recent study, Szolnoki (2013) points to the idea that wineries have of sustainabil-
ity: misunderstandings and differences in the approach between countries and wineries
emerge.
Some countries are greenerthan others according to the degree of companiessus-
tainable behaviour. Globally spoken, California holds a leading position among the
most sustainable agricultural producing countries: Warner (2007) describes the efforts
spent by the Californian wine grape industry for reaching and educating growers about
quality issues and sustainability; the availability of place-based networks of production
has facilitated social learning among grape growers. (Warner 2007) says: More than
any other group of California growers, winegrape growers are operationally defining
sustainability as agricultural enterprise viability, environmental quality and product
quality(p.143). In Northern California there are about 40 industry organizations advo-
cating sustainability in addition to several associations that support organic viticulture
at a national level (see among others: Washington State Association of Wine grape
Growers; Oregon Wine Advisory Board; New York Wine & Grape Foundation; Penn
State Cooperation Extension; Wine Council of Ontario). A case worth to be mentioned
is the one of Lodi region in California (Ohmart 2008) that effectively shows how a local
economic system could respond to the call for sustainability: after having released a
workbook programme that encompasses all the sustainable practices in winemaking,
results have been monitored in order to assess how principles have been implemented
and to examine action plans carried by companies and associations. The great success
of the Lodi programme relies on the active involvement of growers that is the result of
a successful combination of workshops, a proactive behaviour of associations and ef-
fective communication flows.
Starting from the behaviour adopted by wineries, some scholars (Casini et al. 2010)
have proposed a model that would help to classify wineriesorientation in terms of sus-
tainability. In the model, devotedwineries have a strong orientation towards sustain-
ability that is emphasised in customer communication; those companies must invest in
customers and employees training and education; furthermore devoted wineries must
ensure an alignment between their corporate and managerial visions. Another category
of wineries, the so called unexploiters, stands half the way between devoted and
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laggardswineries, or those who would never adopt sustainable practices. Unexploiters
usually decide to adopt sustainable practices, but do not inform other people (clients,
first of all) about their decision. Consequently the benefits that might be gained
through a sustainable orientation are limited. At the opposite of unexploiters stand
opportunists, wineries that do not have a particular interest in sustainability, but tend
to heavily highlight the few sustainable practices introduced.
As it can be guessed, companies can choose among various alternatives: it is not only
a matter of being green or not, but they can also choose among a multitude of green
nuances.
We conceive sustainability as a behaviour adopted to respond to stimuli, whether
they are external or internal to the firm. This perspective introduces three elements
into the discussion: firstly, the presence and the type of stimuli or drivers; secondly, the
degree of responsiveness that characterises the organization; and thirdly, a firms
motivations.
In other words, we can say that orientation towards sustainability depends on how
the following questions can be answered: Who cares about sustainability issues? How
much do I and my organization care about sustainability? Why should we care about
sustainability?
This paper aims to systemically analyse the main academic contributions to the issue
of sustainability in the wine industry in order to outline insights that can depict stra-
tegic, managerial, consumer and organizational implications, and to highlight what are
the main challenges that scholars must face when they get into this research issue.
After having provided a description of where the research is going, the paper will ex-
plain the determinants of a orientation towards sustainability among firms and it will
outline the role of research in promoting sustainability.
Key drivers of sustainability
An analysis of the drivers of sustainability is, in our opinion, the first step to under-
stand the relationship between firms and sustainability. This section introduces the
issue of drivers of sustainability, by highlighting the findings emerging from back-
ground research (the role of institutions and associations, the role of top management
and entrepreneurs, etc.) and the role played by drivers in defining wineriesorientation
towards sustainability. We assume that an exploration of the incidence of perceived
stimuli on companieschoices represents a way for explaining firms behaviour; by con-
ceiving sustainability as a behaviour adopted by firms in responding to selected stimuli,
we focus on the impact that forces (external or internal to the firm) have on a firms
strategy; being sustainable represents one of the strategic choices that firms can make.
The presence of drivers affecting a firms orientation towards sustainability partially ex-
plains the differences in the overall degree of sustainability at a firm or at a country
level. It is almost impossible to define a general ranking for estimating a countrys over-
all orientation towards sustainability: the numerous indexes available simply confirm
the differences among countries, but it is extremely hard to classify them, because of
the differences in index composition and in the trait of sustainability under observation.
A focus on the key drivers of sustainability offers a balanced solution to this problem.
Both academics and practitioners increasingly emphasize the issue of drivers. The
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company Accenture has elaborated a list of six key drivers of sustainability, that are
not only reshaping the way businesses and governments operate, but also redefining
the value they deliver(from corporate website). The list includes: consumer demand
for sustainable products and services; stakeholder influence; resource depletion; em-
ployee engagement; capital market scrutiny; regulatory requirements.
Also background research (Dillon and Fischer 1992; Lawrence and Morell 1995; Winn
1995; Bansal and Roth 2000; Davidson and Worrell 2001; Marshall et al. 2005; Gabzdylova
et al. 2009) has highlighted the role of drivers whether they are conceived as internal/
external or internal/institutional - to describe a firms adoption of a sustainable behaviour.
Internal drivers are all those drivers that take place within the firm: they are ethical
motives inspiring top management and entrepreneurs as well as strategic intentions
based on the recognition of an advantage that might arise from sustainability. External
drivers, instead, take place in the firms external environment.
Institutions, associations, regulators and market demand
External drivers happen outside of the firm and include pressures arising from institu-
tions, customers, communities, associations, environmental groups, activists, regulators
and competitors.
Background research has highlighted the role played by industry associations in creat-
ing sustainable awarenessamong grapegrowers and wineries (Broome and Warner
2008; Silverman et al. 2005; Warner 2007).
A key factor of success in spreading sustainable practices is local playersnetworking
capacity. In some specific areas, such as California, agro-ecological partnerships have
fostered the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (Swezey and Broome 2000;
Dlott 2004) and they have proactively spread a green orientation among wineries
(Broome and Warner 2008).
Environmental concerns have progressively found a diffusion among wineries and be-
came strongly related to corporate image. New Zealand is heavily investing in environ-
mental issues: The New Zealand wine industry aims to be the first in the world to be
100% sustainable. The Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand (SWNZ) programme in-
troduced in 1995 is a framework of industry standards set up to achieve this by vintage
2012(from the website: http://www.newzealand.com).
Also corporate activism should be considered, as shown by the efforts spent by indi-
vidual companies for promoting practices that would reduce gas emission and waste.
The case of The Wine Group, in the US, highlights the consideration that large com-
panies give to environmental issues: in 2008 The Wine Group has launched a website
(www.betterwinesbetterworld.com) to document how Bag in Boxcan help in reducing
emissions and waste (http://www.winebusiness.com). Both the New World and the Old
World face similar environmental challenges but they strongly differ in terms of fertil-
iser usage, that is significantly lower in Europe (http://www.eea.europa.eu).
The development of specific programmes for sustainable winegrowing has fostered
the adoption of ground to bottlepractices for producing grapes and wine (Broome
and Warner 2008). This is highlighted by the willingness that institutions and organiza-
tions show in providing long term financial support to sustainability programmes and
training activities: (Warner 2007) underlines the need for continuous investments in re-
inforcing a commitment to sustainability.
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Institutions and regulators have a prime role in enhancing wineriesinterest towards
sustainability through funding the adoption of specific practices and education
programmes (Swinbank 2009).
A orientation towards sustainability among competitors can foster a me-too mechan-
ism with the result of spreading sustainable practices in the competitive environment:
after that Mondavi has introduced the flange-type bottle with a C-cap on the market
(Murphy 2000), other wineries in the market have shared - consciously or uncon-
sciously the same principles that have inspired Mondavi before the product launch.
Consumersinvolvement in sustainability is also reshaping wineriesinterest toward
this issue, as described by (Bisson et al. 2002): As consumers become more aware of
the vulnerability of our global environment, the demand for sound agricultural produc-
tion practices is increasing. In the future, the perception of the producer as a conscien-
tious environmental steward will be an important influence on the consumers
purchasing decision. This is due in part to the fact that the typical wine consumer is
well educated and affluent(p.698). Consumerspressure has created a market for
wines inspired by environmental issues, such as organic or biodynamic wines (Forbes
et al. 2009): in some countries, such as the UK, organic wine moved from a niche to a
mainstream position (Sharples 2000).
Entrepreneurs and top management
Most of the research has focused on explaining the role of external drivers in enhan-
cing a sustainability orientation within firms, but less research has been done about in-
ternal drivers.
A consistent body of research can be found in the general management and business
strategy literature, that analyses the role of people involved within the organization in
promoting a sustainability orientation: various issues have been investigated such as the
role of top managements values in determining sustainability orientation (Berry and
Rondinelli 1998; Quazi 2003), entrepreneurial commitment to sustainability (Shaltegger
2002) or management practices and principles reshaped by a sustainability orientation
(Atkin et al. 2012; Warner 2007).
In some cases, niche research fields have emerged by providing a sustainabilityper-
spective to diffused and internationally adopted research approaches: this is the case of
Ecopreneurship (ecological entrepreneurship) or the Natural Resource Based View, a
version of the Resource Based View of the Firm approach mainly based on environ-
mental issues.
Ecopreneurship is a term that has been introduced in early 1990s (Bennett 1991;
Berle 1991; Blue 1990) and that renames a growing body of literature that investigates
most of the critical questions in entrepreneurship from an ecological and environmen-
tal perspective. The works by Walley and Taylor (2002), Shaltegger (2002) and Schaper
(2002) provide a comprehensive overview of this research field. From this research the
prominent role that personality traits can have on the degree of a sustainability orienta-
tion within firms emerges: for instance, Regouin (2003) has highlighted that reasons be-
hind a firms conversion to organic farming depend on personal traits such as curiosity,
flexibility, risk propensity and creativity in exploring innovative marketing approaches.
Although there is a growing body of academic literature that is exploring the in-
ternaldrivers towards sustainability, only a few studies have been done on wine.
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Sustainability and strategy
(Bonn and Fisher 2011) say that sustainability is often a missing ingredient in strategy:
there is a great debate on corporate social responsibility, corporate environmentalism,
sustainable practices adoption, green marketing, green corporate image, etc., but the
issue of sustainability is not considered as priority in strategy making.
Research in wine has focused on the relationship between a sustainability orientation
and competitive advantage.
It has been shown how being organic contributes to an effective differentiation
(Bernabeu et al. 2008): Delmas et al. (2008) explore the case of a winery in California
(the Ceago winery, owned by Fetzer), that has chosen to produce organic wine to differ-
entiate its product from the mass; (Pugh and Fletcher 2002) examine how a wine multi-
national corporation (the BRL Hardy) focuses on a specific and different market
segment through one of its controlled brands (Banrock Station) that supplies organic
wine to the market.
A study published by Atkin, Gilinsky and Netwon in 2012 provides useful insights for
understanding if incorporating an Environmental Management System (EMS) into
business models positively or negatively affects wineriesperformance. From the re-
search the relevance that EMS has in pursuing a differentiation strategy for some of the
wineries who employ EMS has emerged. The literature shows that little attention has
been paid to the benefits that implementing EMS might have for wineries (Forbes and
De Silva 2012).
The role of research
Next to the wine industry, also research in the wine business is going green. Research
in the field of sustainability in wine has been fostered by the growing interest of the in-
dustry and by the active role of institutions - that funds specific research programmes -
associations or individual companies. Supporting research has resulted in a renewed
interest in sustainability with the final result of promoting further research. When ob-
serving some cases - such as the Washington State Wine Industry - we can say that
university research has fostered the development of the wine industry (Stewart 2009).
(Ohmart 2008) suggests that a successful diffusion of sustainable practices among
grapegrowers depends on two factors: rigorous science and its effective delivery to
grapegrowers, two issues that partially explain the differences in terms of penetration
and diffusion of sustainable practices in viticulture.
In their analysis of the history of winemaking in California, Guthey and Whiteman
(2009) say that funded university research has contributed to shape Californian wine
production thanks to the useful inputs provided for developing winemaking practices
and understanding human environment relationships.
The field of sustainability in the wine industry appears as a breeding ground for the
development of academics and university collaborations: (Lee 2000) provides a general
framework that can be used for describing the benefits arising from the relationship be-
tween academics and industry. In general it can be said that collaboration between re-
search institutions and the industry (1) may be helpful in solving technical problems,
(2) may facilitate the access to useful findings; and (3) may make the implementation of
innovation easier. It is not surprising that industry heavily supports research in some
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countries: we can cite among others the cases of the Wine and Food Institute in
California cofounded by the Robert Mondavi Winery and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation
and Ronald and Diane Miller of Silverado Vineyards (www.winespectator.com). Another
case worth to be mentioned is the Australian Wine Research Institute, that has actively
promoted research in the field of wine in general and has had a relevant role in spreading a
sustainable culture among wineries. Research has been stimulated in new world countries
and not only in California or Australia, as the case of Vinnova from Chile shows. Great
efforts have been spent for codifying research insights and facilitating knowledge dissemin-
ation and accessibility: some countries, such as New Zealand and Chile, have developed
Codes of Sustainability, to promote the adoption of sustainable practices among wineries.
Conducting research on sustainability has some social implications and researchers
who are working in this field have a social responsibility: with their work, researchers
can foster the adoption of sustainable practices among wineries at different levels and
they can indirectly contribute to the growth of the overall welfare of people living in a
certain area.
Research orientations: a selective systematic literature review
Methodology
Where is research going and what has been done? In order to answer this specific ques-
tion we have carried out a systematic literature review by analysing academic databases
and some wine academic journals. In particular we have performed a keywords based
research in the following academic search engines: ISI Web of Knowledge
SM
, Scopus
SciVerse® and EBSCO (that contains Econlit, Business Source Premiere and Greenfile
databases).
In our research we did not want to use generic scientificsearch engines (i.e., Google
Scholars or Mendeley) and to perform a search on specific academic databases that are
widely diffused among scholars.
The keywords used, combined with the word wineare: green, organic, sustain-
able, sustainability, biodynamic, ecopreneurship, environment.Wehavealsose-
lected some academic journals specialised in wine, and we have checked the
presence of articles that examine the issue of sustainability in wine; the journals
selected are: the International Journal of Wine Business Research; the Australian
journal of Grape and Wine Research; the Journal of Wine Research, Enometrica
and the Journal of Wine Economics. We have decided not to focus on analyses of
practices: there is a wide literature on environmental and organic practices in the
wine industry, but it mainly focuses on winemaking and agronomic aspects and
we are interested in management, strategic and marketing. Background research
has provided us useful inputs for performing our systematic literature review; in
particular the works by (Lobb 2005) and (Thieme 2007) have been helpful for de-
signing our methodology. The work by (Hart 1998) has been extremely useful for
understanding how to analyse results. After having verified their contents, the ar-
ticles have been included in a database that has been created for sorting and ana-
lysing results. We have then classified the articles collected into four main
categories that have been built on the basis of major JEL classifications.
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Topics, geographic area and research techniques employed
The main four categories corresponding to our classification of the main research bod-
ies are (Table 1): (1) strategy; (2) entrepreneurial and top management behaviour; (3)
consumer behaviour; and (4) supply chain management and certification. It is import-
ant to observe the differences emerging from the geographic area of research in which
research has been carried out.
The category strategyincludes all those articles that deal with the issues of business
strategy and sustainability. It is a matter of fact that research on strategy is mainly
performed in the New World Countries: Chile, New Zealand, US, Australia and
Argentina lead the way to understand the links between wine and sustainability in a
strategic orientation. Research techniques employed are often qualitative and case study
research is frequently performed. One of the reasons could be the necessity to explore
the main drivers of pressure towards sustainability taking into account the motivations
and opinions of different wineriesstakeholders. In fact, according to Flint (2009), in
order to conduct such exploratory research, an appropriate methodology such as
grounded theory is necessary that has been used to reveal how social actors interpret
and act within their environments. In other papers, the aim is to enlighten an entire
sector at national or regional level and for this reason a multidisciplinary case study ap-
proach is employed (Guthey and Whiteman 2009; Cederberg et al. 2009). The topics in-
vestigated in this category are diverse, but two trends stand out: at a country level the
analysis is carried out to understand the boundaries of emerging organic wine industry
and the implications to promote place branding activities; at firm level the interest is
for internal and external pressures towards sustainable and environmental practices.
Even more concentrated is the research investigating entrepreneurial and top man-
agementdrivers for the adoption or improvement of environmental behaviour:
Marshall, Cordano and Silverman use the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Theory
of Reasoned Action mainly in US (California) and New Zealand wineries. Results are
not univocal because the weight of internal and external pressures, attitudes and
subjective norms can vary among cases and the papers give evidence of interactions
among considered variables.
Contrary to the other research fields, the consumer behaviour field is investigated
worldwide. Europe seems to be focusing more on consumersperception of - and will-
ingness to pay for - organic wine, while the New World research is oriented to a more
complex issue such as the environmental friendly label or a more general topic as green
production practices. This is the category where quantitative analysis and statistical
techniques are more used and developed.
Finally, research in the field of supply chain management and certification aims to
give an overview of various attempts to implement codes of sustainable winegrowing
practices and to reduce the impact of environment based activities on carbon emission;
these studies are carried out both in the New and Old World. It is worth to emphasize
the various methods employed to analyse impacts and efficiency of practices on the en-
vironment; not a single technique or tool seems to have been recognized worldwide as
a standard for such measurement and thus more research is needed.
A brief final note is about the kind of journal and the year of publication: only 5 of
the papers collected have been published before 2005. This highlights how youngthis
field of study is. Particularly, the field of strategy seems to be the newest one.
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Table 1 Topics, geographical coverage and techniques used in selected literature
Topics Author(s) Geographical
coverage
Study
tipology
Technique Sustainability aspects
Strategy Atkin et al.
(2012)
US Quantitative Survey Links between environmental
strategy and performance
Forbes and
De Silva
(2012)
New Zealand Quantitative survey Environmental Management
System
Cederberg
et al. (2009)
Chile Qualitative Case study at
country level
Potentiality of industry organic
wine
Flint and
Golicic
(2009)
New Zealand Qualitative In-depth
Interviews
(Grounded
Theory)
Drivers of wine industry
sustainability
Guthey and
Whiteman
(2009)
US (California) Qualitative Case study Firm-ecology relationships
Gabzdylova
et al. (2009)
New Zealand Mixed Interviews Internal and external drivers of
sustainability
Pullman
et al. (2010)
US Mixed Interviews Sustainability practices
Bonn and
Fisher
(2011)
Australia Qualitative Case study Sustainability as a business
strategy
Sinha and
Akoorie
(2010)
New Zealand Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Environmental practices
Sampedro
et al. (2010)
Spain Qualitative Interviews Environment as a business
strategy
Warner
(2007)
California Qualitative Interviews and
Focus Groups
Links between sustainability
and place-based branding
Preston
(2008)
France and
Australia
Qualitative Case study Change in supply chain
practices
Novaes
Zilber et al.
(2010)
Argentina Qualitative Case study Potentiality of industry organic
wine
Poitras and
Getz (2006)
Canada Qualitative Case study Host community perspective
Entrepreneurial
and Top
Management
Behaviour
Marshall
et al. (2010)
US and New
Zealand
Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Motivations for improving
environmental performance
Marshall
et al. (2005)
US Qualitative Focus groups
and Interviews
Environmental behavior drivers
Cordano
et al. (2010)
US Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Drivers of adoption of
voluntary EMP
Silverman
et al. (2005)
US Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Drivers to improve
environmental performance
Consumer
Behaviour
Brugarolas
et al. (2010)
Spain Quantitative Contingent
Valuation
Organic wine
Forbes et al.
(2009)
New Zealand Quantitative Descriptive
Analysis
Green production practices in
vineyards
Mann et al.
(2012)
EU-
Switzerland
Quantitative Survey based
on interviews
Determinants organic wine
consumption
Bernabeu
et al. (2007)
Spain Quantitative Conjoint
Analysis
Organic wine
Thogersen
(2002)
Denmark Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Organic wine
Krystallis
et al. (2006)
Greece Quantitative Factor
Analysis
Organic wine
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An analysis of journals reveals a multidisciplinary interest in sustainability and
wine: journals such as Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Journal of
Cleaner Production, E:Co Emergence: Complexity and Organization, International
Journal of Sustainable Development &World Ecology devote specific attention to
the various facets of sustainability; on the other side the Journal of Wine Re-
search and the International Journal of Wine Business Research haveawinesec-
tor focus. Then we can find another kind of reviews with a general focus on the
agri-food sector (British Food Journal,Food Quality and Preference and Acta
Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B-Soil And Plant Science,Journal of Rural
Studies) or new journals with specific topics on firms and sustainability such as
Business Strategy and the Environment.
Conclusions
We have seen how a tight relationship between academics and industry can provide
benefits to the wine industry and can improve its overall orientation towards
Table 1 Topics, geographical coverage and techniques used in selected literature
(Continued)
Loureiro
(2003)
US (Colorado) Quantitative Probit Model Environmental friendly label
Blondel and
Javaheri
(2004)
France Quantitative Experimental
procedure
Organic wine
Fotopoulos
et al. (2003)
Greece Mixed Means-end
chain analysis
Organic wine
Barber
(2010)
USA Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Environmental friendly labels
Barber et al.
(2010)
USA Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
(Factor,
Discriminant)
Environmental friendly labels
Bernabeu
et al. (2008)
Spain Quantitative Multivariate
Analysis
Organic wine
Supply chain
management
and certification
Desta
(2008)
California Quantitative Cross
sectional
survey
Code of sustainable
winegrowing practices
Ohmart
(2008)
California Mixed Context
analysis based
on secondary
data
Code of sustainable
winegrowing practices
McManus
(2008)
Australia Qualitative Case study Environmental sustainability
Ardente
et al. (2006)
Italy Qualitative Case study Estimation of direct and
indirect env impact with
POEMS methodology and
simplified LCA
Colman
and Paster
(2009)
Global Qualitative LCA Analysis Impact on environment based
on a carbon calculator model
Marchettini
et al. (2003)
Italy Qualitative Emergy
analysis
Ecological performance of wine
production
Cholette
and Venkat
(2009)
US Quantitative LCA analysis Employ CargoScope tool to
analyze the carbon and energy
profiles of wine distribution
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sustainability: research can help winegrowers in the adoption of sustainable practices
and can provide answers to some managerial issues.
Scholars suggest to focus research on a few critical aspects, such as the reconfiguring
and understanding of economic performance and the creation of the conditions for in-
cremental adjustment and multidisciplinary learning to happen (Guthey and Whiteman
2009).
Research has a social responsibility in the development of a sustainability orientation
in the wine business: once spread, research results can motivate wineries to adopt a
sustainable behaviour and create a sustainability awareness among industry and
consumers.
The main challenge is to change perceptions and mind-sets, among actors and
across all sectors of society, from the over-riding goal of increasing productive capacity
to one of increasing adaptive capacity, from the view of humanity as independent of na-
ture to one of human and nature as coevolving in a dynamic fashion with the bio-
sphere(Folke, 2002, in Guthey and Whiteman, 2009); research plays a key role in the
achievement of this goal, and by helping managers and people during the learning
process and the adaptation of the organization to the evolving social conditions.
Some scholars perceive the role played by the role of drivers in the defining a sustain-
ability orientation as critical: We encourage further intra-industry, as well as inter-
industry, research in order to better understand when internal and external drivers are
most critical, and perhaps at times, less critical, in ushering in environmental steward-
ship(Marshall et al. 2005).
One of the key emerging research questions to focus on is: under what conditions
sustainability happens. The wine industry is particularly suitable for research on sus-
tainability, as it has been shown by the analysis of the literature we have performed.
Anyway, although sustainability issues are affecting the wine industry all over the
world, research does not show how to keep the path of such a diffusion and it is much
more intensive in some countries rather than others, as it has emerged from the ana-
lysis provided. It can be said that research is more concentrated and focused on sus-
tainability in those countries where the pressure of drivers is stronger.
The originality of our paper relies in being the first classification about research on
sustainability and wine. Our paper aimed to identify the main methodologies and re-
search techniques used, as well as the main problems observed by scholars. Further in-
vestigations to highlight any relationship between university research and the pressure
of key drivers should be carried out.
Endnote
a
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 6th AWBR International Con-
ference, Bordeaux, 910 June 2011.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Authorscontributions
CS carried out the systematic review on wine and set the database. CS analyzed together with AC the dataset. In
particular CS wrote the paragraphs entitled Entrepreneurs and top managementand Sustainability and strategy,
Research orientations: a selective systematic literature review. AC carried out the general review on sustainability and
together with CS has performed the dataset analysis. AC contributed to write, more specifically the paragraph entitled
Institutions, associations, regulators and market demand: AC also contributed specifically to the development of the
Santini et al. Agricultural and Food Economics Page 11 of 14
2013, 1:9
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following paragraphs: The role of ResearchLC contributed together with the other authors to conclusions, discussion
and introduction. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Acknowledgements
We would like to thank reviewers for the useful and accurate suggestions that have contributed to improve the final
version of the paper.
Author details
1
Faculty of Agriculture, Università San Raffaele, Via Val Cannuta 247, Roma, Italy.
2
Department of Education, Cultural
Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, P.le Bertelli, 1, 62100, Macerata, Italy.
3
GESAAF Department, University of
Florence, Piazz.le Cascine 18, Firenze, Italy.
Received: 18 January 2013 Accepted: 17 July 2013
Published:
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