♦ SUSTAINABILITY ♦
QUALITY AND ENVIRONMENT
Founded in 1834, José Maria da Fonseca leads the way in the field of
table wine and Setúbal Moscatel production and sales. Its brands can be found worldwide and exports currently account for about 80% of annual sales volume.
A Key part part of the company’s strategy throughout its history has been environmental concern. This has been translated into the use of best practices in the treatment of vines and better management, preservation and conservation of natural resources. In turn, this has led to a new set of practices reflected in the community of which it is a part, thus enabling a supportive coexistence of the needs of all those involved.
OVER THE YEARS, THE COMPANY HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS INCREASING CONCERN WITH ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS, BEST PRACTICES IN VINE TREATMENT AND THE MANAGEMENT, PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
♦ ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD SAFETY HIGHLIGHTED ♦
Since the company has vertically integrated production, the
environmental component is of significant importance, particularly with regard to the 650 ha of vineyards - concentrated in the Setúbal Peninsula, Alentejo and Douro - and the entire wine production process as far as the end consumer.
Even before the emergence of the ISO14001 environmental standards, with which José Maria da Fonseca was the first in the sector to be certified, since 1995, the company had already been carrying out Integrated Audits in which the Environment played a key role. In 1996 it received Quality Certification (ISO9001), also the first in its sector, and since 2004 it has adhered to standard 14001.
Also in the area of Food Safety, José Maria da Fonseca reached BRC status in 2013, and in 2012 obtained BRC Certification, issue 6 (currently the most advanced international standard in the area of Food Safety).
Still in the environmental field, José Maria da Fonseca maintains innovative sustainable practices, such as reducing water consumption, with annual goals and objectives, including the treatment and reuse of all its wastewater for irrigation of its green spaces. Accordingly, the company’s Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) has not been discharged into the water environment since 2007.
Integrated waste management, with an approximately 99% recycling rate and a reduction in energy consumption, is another priority integrated into its system for improving environmental performance.
♦ BALANCED, ENVIRONMENTAL AND PIONEERING VITICULTURE ♦
The environmental concern also extends to the vineyards, where, since the early 90s, the company has been developing and applying viticulture in contact and focused on the preservation of natural resources. Integrated protection practices are followed in all vineyards and extended to grape suppliers.
Viticulture constantly strives towards a balance between the use of technology and concern with the environment. José Maria da Fonseca pioneered drip irrigation, which it implemented in 1993, and which is now standard practice in national viticulture. Also, from the 1980s it started not mobilizing the soil, maintaining a vegetation cover that retains moisture, benefiting life and plant and animal biodiversity, which in turn implies a reduced need for water in the vineyards. The soils are fertilized with the stems of the grapes in the rows of vines, also incorporating organic matter from the pruning.
Agricultural research for new and better plants has been a practice over the past few decades and José Maria da Fonseca has collaborated with leading experts and with national and international research centers in the area of Enology and Viticulture.
♦ PRESERVATION OF RESOURCES ♦
The company is concerned with preserving ancient resources. In its facilities at Casa Agricola José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes, in Reguengos de Monsaraz, there is a unique example of a "Menhir" dating from the Paleolithic period, which was discovered in his vineyard at the Herdade do Monte da Ribeira, also in Reguengos de Monsaraz. This vineyard also has a stone circle which was found and preserved by the company.
Also at Casa Agrícola José de Sousa Rosado Fernandes, there is a winery that is unique in Portugal, with 114 Clay Amphorae allowing the company to produce wine made in amphorae - José de Sousa Mayor - keeping alive a winemaking technique which originated in the period of Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula.
The company has one of the largest ampelographic collections in the world, which means that it owns and develops over 560 different types of planted varieties, representing a truly alive winegrowing "museum". All this winegrowing potential has led to the development of unique products on the market.
♦ RESPONSIBLE AND MODERATE CONSUMPTION ♦
In social terms, together with other companies and organizations in the sector, José Maria da Fonseca, has always advocated the responsible consumption of alcohol.
In addition to the support provided both nationally and internationally to these organizations, this approach is also clear in all its wine advertising campaigns in which it always appeals to responsible and moderate consumption. Another idea defended by the company is the consumption of alcohol only after the legal age.
The issue of responsible and moderate consumption led José Maria da Fonseca to pioneer the development and creation of the first line of alcohol-free wines in Portugal, and there is currently more than one brand each of alcohol-free rosé, white and red wine, which it sells to its main markets.
♦ THE COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL SUPPORT ♦
José Maria da Fonseca has always sought to be involved with its main stakeholders, as well as to play an active role in the community in which it operates, both in Azeitão and in the Setúbal Peninsula as a whole.
In the social field, the company is well established within the local community, where it actively participates by directly or indirectly sponsoring events with local organizations, through social work and in social partnerships.
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