Retailers

Fairway Touts Sustainability Efforts With New Wine Cork Campaign

Retailer partners with Portuguese Cork Association for educational initiative
fairway wine bottles
Photograph courtesy of Fairway Wine & Spirits

To promote its selection of wine offerings and highlight its sustainability efforts, Fairway Market has partnered with the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) to launch a new wine cork educational campaign in its Fairway Wine & Spirits locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The initiative began Saturday, Sept. 29, at Fairway Wine & Spirits in Stamford, Conn., and will run through National Recycling Day on Nov. 15, with plans to expand to other regional supermarket chains next year.

The campaign aims to inform consumers about the positive environmental impact of purchasing wine closed with natural corks via in-store signage and banners, cork recycling bins, weekly wine tastings, upcycled cork prizes and giveaways, and neck hangers on select California wines indicating that they have been closed with cork. The neck hangers also include facts about cork’s green attributes, with callouts such as sustainable, renewable and recyclable, and harvested without damage to the tree.

fairway cork
Photograph courtesy of Fairway Wine & Spirits

“Cork is biodegradable, sustainable and recyclable,” Angelo Martelli, director of wine for Fairway Wine & Spirits, told WGB. “We know our consumers value products that are eco-friendly. We want them to know that it's important to us too, which is why we are supporting this new educational campaign. Our ultimate goal is to educate consumers about cork's impact on the environment and its effect on the development and aging of the wine itself.”

The kickoff event featured tastings of several types of Francis Coppola wines and prizes, including exclusive cork products created by Daniel Michalik, founder of DMFD, a design studio that creates furniture from underutilized, environmentally responsible materials including cork.

Inspired by a recent visit to the cork forest in Portugal, which is the world’s largest producer and exporter of natural cork, Martelli curated the campaign to provide an opportunity for consumers to gain a better understanding of how cork is harvested and how purchasing wines closed with cork can help consumers reduce their carbon footprints and support natural habitats.

“There are millions of acres of cork oak forest acting as a massive carbon sink. The forest is also home to hundreds of animals and plants, including the endangered Iberian lynx, of which there are only a couple of hundred left in the world,” said Martelli. “I think consumers will be thrilled to learn that simply by buying a bottle of wine that's closed with natural cork they are part of preserving a critical ecosystem.

"It's important to me to bring this information about sustainability back to consumers in our retail stores."

Throughout the campaign, Fairway is encouraging customers to bring corks to its tri-state locations to be recycled and donated to ReCork, North America’s largest natural wine cork recycling program. ReCork grinds down and repurposes cork into a variety of eco-friendly products, including yoga blocks and flip-flops.

Recycled corks will also be donated to the Darien Nature Center, a nonprofit organization that provides educational programs to families in the community to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Proceeds will be used to fund animal welfare and environmental efforts.

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