Each product is the expression of our terroir: a particular soil, a unique climate, specific biodiversity. We are committed to protecting these fragile ecosystems and perpetuating our savoir-faire that has been built over generations. Climate has always been part of their story and global warming stands as a new challenge. That is why, in our fields and with our partners, we are committed to applying agroecological practices, developing resilient varieties for our raw materials and using precision technology to support more sustainable agriculture and wine-growing.
We now use 100% organic fertiliser to maintain the biodiversity of soil, without compromising on yield.
We consider that our journey towards agroecology involves guarantees external to the Group, which testify to our progress and commit us in the long term. Recognised certifications play this role with each of our Maisons.
In Barbados, 85% of Mount Gay’s sugar cane purchases are Bonsucro-certified. In Champagne, Telmont leads the way with 80% of Organic Agriculture (AB) and High Environmental Value (HVE) certified land. All Rémy Martin delivery companies are committed to HVE certification, and those at Domaine des Hautes Glaces are AB-certified. As for Westland in the United States, it is making progress, with 62% of its supplies Salmon Safe or Regenerative Organic Agriculture-certified.
In 2023, 82% of the agricultural raw materials produced or purchased by our Maisons are committed to certification, compared to 64% in 2021. At this rate, we remain confident that we will be able to engage all our terroirs in the process by 2025. These certifications commit our partners to a sustainable approach and also act as guidelines for their farming practices.
Agroecology advocates farming methods that attach great importance to soil health and aim to improve the use of natural resources (water, biodiversity). All our Maisons are currently converting to agroecological practices. The challenge to date is for them to measure the ecological health of our soils, to carry out experiments before scaling up, and to bring our employees and partners on board.
Domaine des Hautes Glaces is taking a leading role in this area. For more than 10 years, it has introduced crop rotation, plant cover, crops without synthetic inputs and agroforestry. It sources ingredients from the local terroir (barley, spelt, AB certified oats).
In Barbados, Mount Gay is also a pioneer in the cultivation of sugar cane: 100% organic fertilisers, permanent soil cover (bagasse mulching, rotation crops, etc.), more respectful mechanical work, planting of trees at the edges of plots, nutrient-renewing fallow, etc. There is also organic control of plant diseases and rational management of water resources.
The agroecological transition involves our entire ecosystem. Why is it crucial? Because more than 95% of our raw material supplies come from our partner farmers and winegrowers. Within each of our Maisons, our experts interact with our partners in order to raise awareness, train and support them in the transition and monitor the health of the soils over the long term.
It is necessary to explain the reasons behind the sustainability of practices, the transmissibility of terroirs and long-term commitment. At Rémy Martin, this took the form, for example, of 5 events with 460 partner winegrowers in January 2023.
Our Maisons actively work to strengthen their expertise, talk with each other to build their knowledge, and then share their findings with our partners. The challenge is to adopt agroecological practices in their specific terroir, starting from an existing toolbox: precision agriculture, plant cover, increased crop rotation, minimisation of inputs, protection of biodiversity, etc.
If our soil is to play its part in delaying climate change and preserving biodiversity, we need to know it better. For this, Genesis, the world’s leading ecological soil health rating agency has been supporting us for the past 3 years. On the basis of its scientific diagnosis, we can assess the impact of our agricultural practices with the aim of improving long-term health of soils, their yields and their resistance to climatic and biological risks.
The Genesis rating is based on four essential pillars to assess soil quality and sustainability: carbon (quantity stored in the soil), biodiversity (biological functioning of the soil), water (soil’s retention capacity) and its fertility (soil’s capacity to produce).
To date, this evaluation has involved about thirty partner winegrowers and Rémy Martin estates, about ten farms in Trièves, suppliers of Domaine des Hautes Glaces, and our Bruichladdich distillery.
We aim for 100% identified resistant varieties for our agricultural raw materials by 2030. The challenge is to secure the production of our raw materials. Our R&D departments, in partnership with the academic world, successfully identify and test them.
Domaine des Hautes Glaces is teaming up with INRAE in France to test old varieties of barley seeds, with the aim of developing varieties that are more resistant to heat and drought. Likewise, Westland in the United States is partnering with Washington State University.
The VIBRACC project, in partnership with INRAE, BNIC and CVC (Conservatoire du Vignoble Charentais), aims to find grape varieties resistant to mildew, powdery mildew and black rot (the most common diseases), while showing resilience to global warming, by the natural cross between Vidal blanc and other resistant varieties.
Our anti-parasite research is just as dynamic, with Cointreau working to protect orange and bitter orange trees threatened by citrus greening disease. While no treatment currently exists, we are working with CIRAD in Guadeloupe to limit its impact through natural techniques (tolerant rootstocks, tillage, etc.).
Rémy Martin has been a patron of the Office National des Forêts for more than 10 years. Our cognac Maison supports actions to protect or reforest the local woodland, including the conservation of the common oak, which is used to make the ageing casks of its eaux-de-vie. Since 2021, alongside CPIE Périgord-Limousin, it has participated in the financing of the “Eco-Horte: a school forest” project.
The forest of Horte is rich in a biodiversity of trees mixing hardwood (chestnut, oak) and evergreens (maritime pine, Scots pine, etc.). Eco-Horte is studying in particular the development of the common oak and its adaptation to climate change, with a view to providing a solution for its future preservation.
The project also carries out actions in favour of habitats – beneficiaries of animal biodiversity – and monitors the adaptation of other shrub species to climate change. Its facilitators raise awareness among schools and the general public during thematic visits, and involve citizens in small projects (e.g. maintenance, planting, protection of shrubs against game, etc.).
Frédéric Villelégier, Regional Forest Technician of the forest of Horte.
We advise and accompany them in their agroecological transition. Of our 87 partner farmers, 35 follow us in this annual program, which consists of analysing their soil, making a diagnosis and proposing appropriate improvements.
In this logic of transmission, we involve renowned experts and lead very open meetings to collect their requests, on the practices to adopt, certifications, the roadmap… Our legitimacy on the subject also comes from the trials we conduct within our Estate, a vineyard covering 1.6 hectares that acts as a test and demonstration plot to convince our partners about the effectiveness of these practices.
We want to get all our partners involved in this transition in the next 5 years. This will allow us to preserve our soil and make it more resilient and protect the outstanding biodiversity of Samos – in and above the soil. We have a formidable task ahead but we are helped because the island – due to its rugged terrain and its demanding, dry and windy climate – has been implementing agroecological practices for many years now.
First, we analyse their soil (amount of organic matter, biological life). Then, we advise them on which agroecological practices to adopt. For example, we suggest reducing soil amendment (fertilisers), adopting vegetation cover in winter (grasses, legumes to fertilise and trap carbon), stopping the burning of pruning residues for mulching, reducing tillage, etc.
“Metaxa was born in an extraordinary setting, the Greek island of Samos. This island is home to one of the most important biodiversity pools in the entire Mediterranean: thousands of migratory and local birds, hundreds of species of mammals and reptiles, including many rare and endangered species, but also more than 1,500 species of plants, including 60 species of orchids.
This rich and varied biodiversity is essential for the cultivation of grapes: an exceptional vineyard of only 1.6 ha whose vines are cared for and harvested by hand.”