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Potential for sustainability eco‐labeling in Ontario's wine industry

Naomi Berghoef (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Rachel Dodds (Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 8 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore the degree of consumer interest in an eco‐labeling program for the Ontario wine industry and determine whether there is a willingness‐to‐pay a premium for eco‐labeled Ontario wines.


The study was a quantitative survey of 401 wine consumers in Ontario, collected at Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) retail stores and winery retail stores. Results were analyzed using quantitative non‐parametric statistical analyses.


It was revealed that while most Ontario wine consumers do not presently purchase eco‐labeled wine regularly, the majority (90 per cent) are at least somewhat interested in purchasing eco‐labeled wine and that the majority would be willing to pay a premium of $0.51 or more (65 per cent). Consumers also indicated a preference for a seal of approval style label with multiple levels that contained a website from which they could obtain detailed information on certification.

Practical implications

These results provide valuable insights into wine consumers' purchasing behaviours and purchasing preferences with regards to environmentally friendly products. This information can be useful to those involved in implementing the Ontario wine industry's sustainability initiative, Sustainable Winemaking Ontario (SWO), and to wineries and winegrowers who are interested in promoting their actions taken to improve sustainability.


There is presently no published research investigating the potential role for an eco‐labeling and certification program for the Ontario wine industry, or any other Canadian wine industry. There is also a limited research on willingness‐to‐pay within the food and beverage sector.



Berghoef, N. and Dodds, R. (2011), "Potential for sustainability eco‐labeling in Ontario's wine industry", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 298-317.



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