As the clock ominously ticks away the seconds to Cape Wine 2012 and Vindaba, a brace of wine conferences managed by WOSA at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in September, it’s looking increasingly like little green women from Mars have taken over the planning. Wrapped coquettishly in banana leaves, they lisp “our aim is to reduce, re-use and recycle wherever we can.” But by banning the public from the final day of Cape Wine 2012, these Martian mavens are forcing producers to duplicate tasting stands in adjacent rooms: one for the trade, one for the public. This duplication of facilities exposes the cant and hypocrisy at the heart of WOSA’s green dream and ratchets up costs alarmingly on hard pressed producers.
If WOSA are serious about the environment, they will cancel their R1 million opening party and rather hold it at Food Inn India on Long Street. Within walking distance of the CTICC, Tandoori chicken and salad costs R25 while a lamb thali for R40 is more than even WOSA braii consultant and highly paid spin doctor Andre Morgenthal can eat. Wine can be sampled in recycled paper cups al fresco, providing an authentic ethnic experience for binge-drinking luvvies from London and saving on spittoons. These savings may be used to purchase carbon credits and a papal indulgence.
As WOSA confess “this is our green policy. We are developing it as we learn more, but so far, so good!” Really? This commentator begs to differ. WOSA’s make-it-up-as-we-go-along plan is devastatingly simple. After flying delegates to Cape Town in wide-body CO2 spewing jets “We will endeavour to:
Use fewer vehicles, eg encourage car pools” – use MyCiti buses
“Arrange group airport transfers instead of individual ones” – see above
“Use hotels in walking distance of event” – the hotels closest to the Convention Centre are some of the most expensive in Africa. Rather book cheaper hotels and use the savings to plant a carbon sequestering vetplant in the Karoo
“Provide walking options to events by creating safe routes with guards” – in a rainy Cape Town winter, good luck gals!
“Use hybrid cars or cars that use alternative fuels” – just what do you have against MyCiti buses?
“Travel with companies that have green policies and actively reduce their impact on the environment, eg make use of GreenCab, Cape Town’s only carbon-neutral transport service” – Sounds like a word from a sponsor?
Accommodation policy is equally hare-brained.
“Accommodation should be close to the conference venue to minimise use of transport.
Hotels and guest houses will be required to have a green policy that covers as many of the following as possible:
Have energy efficient lighting and maximise usage of natural light” Errr… that’s it?
Producers, looking increasingly like Rip van Winkel or Simon van der Stel snoring softly on his back on the Simonsberg, should wake up and start demanding value for money from the R35 million WOSA fritter away each year. This green dream for SA wine is naïve, expensive and hypocritical and no one likes the flavour of excessively green wines, not even that green Teletubby Dipsy.