Both globalisation and the growing international competition have affected the complexity of academic inquiry about Sustainability and firms’ Social Responsibility. Global warming, the loss of bio-diversity, contamination and waste production have social and economic consequences, thus fostering a growing interest toward environmental and economic sustainability related to the development of products and processes. Agriculture and food productions are one of the main responsible for environmental pollution, as well as of the natural resources overexploitation. As a consequence, the topics of Sustainability and Social Responsibility acquire a great importance in agri-food and in wine industry, as well. We believe that the adoption of social responsible behaviours, like implementing environmental practices beyond regulatory compliance, depends not only on the economic performance, but also on the individuals’ cultural values and beliefs. Because of the low diffusion of Sustainable production in the Italian wine industry, we particularly focus on the Organic Wine Production, as the way some Italian wine producers commit to Environmental Sustainability. According to the underlined perspective, our research aims to investigate which factors drive the Italian wine producers to engage in Environmental Sustainability efforts. To get our goal, 77 Italian Organic winemakers have been selected to be interviewed. First results of investigations show that Italian winemakers devote themselves to organic production mainly to differentiate their own offer at international level. They face more difficulties in managing organic production if compared to traditional production systems, and this often turns into high production costs. The low quality perceptions that the Italian consumers have of the organic wine isn’t cited as the main obstacle to the diffusion of Organic wine, probably because the last one is mainly sold into foreign markets. Finally, results seems to confirm a fundamental lack of knowledge about the differences between sustainable and organic wine, both among producers and consumers, with consequences upon the perception that the producers have about the practices that they undertake. Not surprising, the interviewed winemakers believe to respect sustainability even when they simply comply with the environmental rules necessary to gain the organic certification. Since the empirical investigation is still ongoing, the main limit of our paper is the lack of collected data, that allow us to propose only preliminary results at this research stage.
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