Welcome to Wine Institute California Wine Export Program

Winery Guidance for On-Site Visits & Requests for Information

To assist you in dealing with audits and in responding when you are contacted about the survey, Wine Institute’s legal team has drafted the attached “Guidance for RFIs and Audits” document. If you have questions, kindly contact Tracy Genesen at [email protected] or Justin McGuirk at [email protected]

Background on Nordic Monopolies On-Site Audits & Surveys; “Listening to Workers” program

As part of their social responsibility efforts, the Nordic monopolies share a Code of Conduct, which includes a Human Rights Roadmap and risk assessments in the alcohol supply chains globally. As part of their efforts, the monopolies look at winery supply chains and require detailed information about their work with sustainability and ethical trade. Wineries are also asked about their workforce-related social programs and if deemed necessary, the monopolies may send auditors to a winery to gather additional information. Production facilities and vineyards may be visited to see that the work environment follows the law, that health and safety standards are met, that there is no child labor, etc. Also, interviews may be conducted with employees including questions about the work environment, worker compensation, etc. 

The monopolies have hired a survey service provider, AndWider, to conduct a “Listening to Workers” program that aims to generate a country-level assessment of human rights risks in the US. Importers will be asked to suggest wineries to be contacted and the monopolies themselves can also add wineries to that list. Wineries are then invited to participate. This is NOT mandatory and we were assured there would be no commercial repercussions should wineries decline to participate. 

Wineries that do choose to participate will be asked to communicate the program to their workers. Workers that choose to participate will receive an online survey, by mobile phone, three times a year, with questions about working hours, wages, working conditions, etc.

Wine Institute has expressed concerns to the monopolies about how these in-person audits take place and about the “Listening to Workers” program. We believe that certain aspects of this program may be inconsistent with applicable California and US laws regarding employees’ personal data, information, and privacy. 

Full document available here.