Mondavi's vinyard$$ of globalization exploit workers, ecosystem
Mondavi winemaking corporation should be boicotted for labor violations (UFW campaign), ecological destruction (decimation of oak woodlands for new barrels/vinyards), and exploitation of family grape farmers overseas using WTO globalization agreements..
Mondavi corporate vinyards are being boicotted by the UFW for labor violations and the firing of 36 workers without cause. In addition there's the regular exposure of workers to toxic pesticides used frequently on Mondavi's plantation style vinyards. Despite the fact that many certified organic grape growers DO NOT expose their workers to toxic pesticides, Mondavi continues to place their workers in the path of harm and illness by maintaining their pesticide treadmill..
Recently this May several scientists risked losing their jobs by speaking out against pesticide manufacturer's plans to register several new toxic pesticides for use in corporate plantations. This is evidence of the pesticide treadmill causing evolutionary resistance to petrochemical pesticides by weed/pest species, corporations then introducing newer and more potent pesticide toxins to lower populations of the resistant species. This process ignores the facts that bioaccumulation of toxins from pesticide sprays up the food chain will have severe effects on human health and other top carnivores (eagles, herons, osprey, etc..)..
"The scientists wrote a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Director Stephen Johnson on May 24, 2006, asking him to prevent the registration of twenty carbamate and organophosphate pesticides - chemicals that most scientists feel are especially dangerous for fetuses, infants and children.
"I commend these brave scientists for speaking out, under threat of losing their jobs," says Pesticide Action Network senior scientist Dr. Margaret Reeves, "We've known all along that the scientists working inside the EPA have integrity and want to do their best to protect public health. The pressure from the pesticide manufacturers on government to weaken protections from these particularly dangerous chemicals is in direct conflict with the mandate of the EPA. People should show support for these scientists."
article con'ts @;
link to www.panna.org
Many family run wine operations personally interact with their hired workers and either use less toxic pesticides or are completely organic. There are also other family winemakers around the world who are oppossed to the growing power of the Mondavi corporation and their globalization spawned monoculture vinyards. The movie "Mondovino" interviews both Mondavi corporate spokespeople and local family winemakers from France, Italy and Argentina and elsewhere..
Many family winemakers express their dislike of Mondavi's corporate control and the weight of opinions of the "Parker" list that determines the success and failure of a particular wine. Frequently top wine critic Robert Parker encourages family winemakers to "modernize" in his review, implying that next year the Parker list's review won't be very nice if they fail to comply. Recommend the movie "Mondovino" for labor/eco-activists in the Napa/Sonoma region (or elsewhere) who want more details on the globalization exploits of Mondavi corporation..
Nossiter's movie @;
The family winemakers interviewed in the Mondovino movie express their enjoyment of growing grapes the natural way, working harmoniously with the seasons and ecosystem using the time tested concept of "terroir". The term "terroir" is French for terrain, reflecting the importance of geography in determining soil composition, weather and other factors that influence taste. The response from corporate growers like Mondavi is to dismiss the concept by calling the growers "terroirists" or labeling them as snobs and outdated aristocrats (playing on sterotypes of snooty French). Many of the terroir growers are working class families who barely have enough land to remain in business another year, especially with WTO globalization agreements flooding their markets with subsidized corporate wines like Mondavi. Despite the opposition from economic powerhouses like Mondavi, Parker, etc.., eco-friendly terroir viticulture remains their method of choice..
"We had wonderful mentors who taught us early in our career that:
1) 90% of the ultimate wine is created in the vineyard; and,
2) the role of the winemaker is to let the wine make itself.
In essence, those two simple rules codify that wine is an agricultural product and that its flavor and structure, those elements that make each wine unique, come from the combination of soil, climate, and grape variety. We refer to this trio as the holy trinity of terroir. The role of the winemaker is to render the fundamental character of the wine in its most clear and precise form so that it speaks to us of its geographical origin, its birthplace as it were, and the special conditions that obtained in the particular vintage."
from "concept of terroir" @;
The risk of enabling globalization from Mondavi corporation would result in loss of wine diversity throughout Europe and elsewhere. Essentially Mondavi is attempting to monopolize the wine market along with other top growing corporations like Rothschild and Bordeaux..
Workers on family winemaking operations are treated as family and celebrate together with the growers come harvest time. This contrasts greatly to corporate vinyards where workers are treated as disposable chattel slaves by the modern Mondavi's plantation system..
"Napa Valley vineyard workers at Charles Krug winery--operated for generations by the Peter Mondavi family--need your help. On Friday, all 36 workers were fired just after the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board told the winery it was filing a formal complaint against the winery. The ALRB complaint will allege Krug-Mondavi has no right to refuse to bargain with its vineyard workers over renewing their UFW contract and has no right to fire the workers."
more on worker's struggles w/ Mondavi @;
link to www.ufw.org
take action aqui @;
and try this;
organize a iww (wobblies) chapter near u @;
In addition to oppressing workers, corporate vinyards also wreak havoc and destruction on foothill/valley oak woodland ecosystems by clearcutting. Not all vinyards clearcut oaks, many family winemakers often leave oak greenways standing to provide cooling shade for workers and habitat for diverse species that depend on oak ecosystems..
"Ecological disruption such as that attributed to Snows Lake "is happening all over California," and vineyards are destroying more oak trees than sudden oak death, said Chris Malan, a Napa County environmental activist. "Politicians wave them (vineyards) right on through. There's little or no enforcement. Developers put in a vineyard first and then ask for water."
article cont's @;
link to www.sfgate.com
Mondavi also clearcuts oaks for the wine barrels, taking a shortcut to flavor the wines with the hard tannins of oak wood. The missed steps of terrior cannot be replaced by saturation of wine with oak tannins. However, each oak lost to barrel making is unable to produce acorns for the many wildlife that depends on them..
"Agricultural development is a culprit in Mendocino County. Residents of Potter Valley have coined the term "grape-rape" to describe changes from rangeland to vinyards rapidly taking place before their very eyes. One outraged neighbor wrote a "Requiem for the Oaks" and posted it on community bulletin boards. Robert Mondavi is putting in 800 acres of wine grapes just north of Ukiah. Water-short Anderson Valley dwellers protest the construction of a plethora of new ponds for a passel of new plantings. Machines clear entire hillsides and the valleys beneath them to make way for the military rows of grape-stakes that increasingly march across our landscape."
article con'ts @;
In addition, many indigenous north americans are relearning their process of harvesting, leaching and preparing acorns for nutritious and tasty food (bread, soup, etc..) according to their cultural traditions. Mondavi's practice of clearcutting native oaks makes it difficult for people and wildlife to have enough acorns available for everyone and next years crop of baby oaks..
Nupa acorn soup Miwok recipe @;
Acorns not only taste good when leached of tannins and prepared in soup or bread, they are also an important survival food that require no petrochemical pesticide/herbicide or fertilizer inputs, no labor besides planting acorns and tending baby oaks from ravenous herbivores (cattle, pigs, deer, etc..). Needless to say pesticide drift from Mondavi isn't considered ecologically sustainable if oaks and acorn crops are effected..
"Acorns are energy-rich, with 510 kcal (2100 kJ) per 100 grams. Their composition is 6% water, 54% carbohydrates, 8% protein, and 32% fat, largely monounsaturated. Acorns are high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and niacin."
more nutritional value of acorns @;
Mondavi needs to learn respect for the oak woodlands, farmworkers and family farmers overseas who struggle to make a living during these times of free market globalization that tramples the rights of local sovereignty in favor of corporate profit.
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