FAIR’N GREEN is the seal awarded by Fair and Green e. V. for holistic sustainability. It helps companies to make concrete sustainability goals objectively measurable and verifiable and to achieve them in an integrated manner. Fair and Green e. V. has been committed to the sustainable development of agriculture since it was founded in 2013. The members pursue the goal of rethinking agriculture and making it sustainable. To this end, the association awards the FAIR’N GREEN seal to companies that organise and develop themselves sustainably and undergo an annual audit.

FAIR’N GREEN certification is initially based on the generally recognised model of sustainability with the three pillars of “economic sustainability”, “ecological sustainability” and “social sustainability”. In addition, a sector-specific fourth pillar will be added, whereby sector-specific aspects will also be recorded and certified.

This is necessary because aspects of sustainable viticulture itself differ greatly from aspects and requirements for sustainable printing or specialised wine trade or other stages of the value chain. In this way, sustainability certification becomes “certification for holistic sustainability”:

Numerous aspects are recorded, evaluated and certified in each of the four areas (or pillars). In total, more than 220 aspects are scrutinised, e.g.

  • Sustainable business management and succession management
  • Sustainable marketing channels and processes
  • Environmental protection and natural viticulture
  • Promotion of biodiversity
  • Protection of natural resources
  • Fair wages and social commitment
  • Social responsibility
  • Preservation and promotion of the cultural landscape

Certified companies are committed to continuous improvement. To ensure this, the companies are regularly advised and evaluated. As part of the certification process, an individual development plan and a company life cycle assessment are drawn up.

At the end, the result is validated by GUTCert GmbH from Berlin, an independent, external inspection body. Only companies that have been validated by the independent organisation receive the FAIR’N GREEN seal.

The criteria are developed, regularly reviewed and updated by Fair and Green e. V. in collaboration with the advisory board. In addition to members of the association, the advisory board consists of experts from science, the wine industry and other stakeholders in the sector. This creates a dynamic system that can continuously adapt to the needs of the time and changing environmental or climate parameters.

Based on the growing experience gained through the annual certification of member companies, adjustments are made each year and incorporated into the criteria for the following year. A standardised review process is carried out regularly, every five years, together with the Scientific Advisory Board, the Executive Board and other external wine experts. Experts from research (e.g. HGU, Neustadt University of Applied Sciences) as well as from practice (winegrowers, plant protection experts) are involved.

This review process was last carried out in 2020/2021. When reviewing the list of criteria, Fair and Green e. V. is guided by the principles of ISEAL, an international membership organisation for credible sustainability standards.

The association’s guidelines can be found on the website and are publicly accessible: Our guidelines

The realisation of all certifications is associated with costs, including the personnel costs of the consultancy itself. Each certification therefore incurs fees, which are then charged in the form of licence fees or consultancy costs.

FAIR’N GREEN certification is carried out by Athenga GmbH: The costs for the consultation, preparation of the life cycle assessment and for the final report are therefore not paid to the association.

The association Fair and Green e. V. only receives the membership fee, which according to the statutes is to be used exclusively for the purposes of the association. These are mainly marketing measures by the association to publicise the seal, initiate a wide range of projects and initiatives to strengthen biodiversity, climate protection or sustainable plant protection – always in cooperation with scientific research.

Fair and Green e. V. is the organisation responsible for the system and certification. Athenga GmbH carries out the counselling and auditing of the companies.

Fair and Green e. V. is an independent organisation. The certification is awarded by him. Independently of this, the association commissions Athenga GmbH to advise and audit its members. External validation of the results is carried out by GUTCert GmbH. This means that the mark provider, mark holder and inspector are economically and legally separate organisations.

In the event of minor infringements, rectification is required at the next certification date: For example, companies are given the opportunity to make improvements during the initial certification if necessary. Gross violations of the guidelines must be rectified immediately. In this case, the certification may be withdrawn with immediate effect.

Chemical plant protection must be optimised according to the Toxic Load Indicator method (TLI). Plant protection products are assessed according to their actual toxicity to the environment, humans and nature. As a result, particularly critical, because toxic, active ingredients should be avoided. This serves to optimise plant protection without ideology.

No, the use of herbicides is not permitted. Utilisation must be discontinued during a transitional period of 3 years after accession. There are exceptions only and exclusively for steep slopes that cannot be worked mechanically and for sites that are at risk of erosion.

No, the use of insecticides is generally not permitted. Exceptions can only be applied for if use has been officially ordered.

No, the use of mineral nitrogen fertilisers is not permitted and must be discontinued by the member within a transitional period of 3 years. Organic fertilisation is permitted, but should be adjusted annually to the actual nutrient status of the soil and the nutrient requirements of the vines. We recommend ensuring the nutrient status of the soil through revegetation management and completely avoiding fertilisation in years when this is possible.

No, temporary workers may not be employed. A review is carried out in every audit. The FAIR’N GREEN criteria categorically exclude this possibility.

Organic-certified products emphasise ecological aspects. The 3+1 pillar model of sustainability certification also provides for aspects from the areas of business and society to be taken into account. The fourth pillar is industry-specific aspects.

In this respect, certified organic businesses and products can also be certified as sustainable if they are positioned accordingly in the other areas. Insofern können bio-zertifizierte Betriebe und Produkte auch nachhaltigkeitszertifiziert werden, wenn sie in den anderen Bereichen entsprechend aufgestellt sind. Some companies have themselves certified as both “organic” and sustainable because awareness of sustainability is increasing in the industry. You can find more information here:Network sustainable organic wine

The individual steps are described on the website: 5 steps to certification. If you have any further questions, please contact us personally using our contact form.