Ethical Business Policy


1. Avignonesi Values and Commitment

Avignonesi's endeavours can be summed up in these four verbs: OBSERVE - PRESERVE - SERVE - DESERVE. Avignonesi does not claim to have achieved a result yet. We choose verbs rather than nouns to show our purpose, our dynamic. Nonetheless, we keep working determinedly to hand on to our children a better planet.

Observe - It seems hard to reconcile Pasteur and Steiner. Yet, the starting act of biology and biodynamics is to observe life and its cycles. Science is based on research and it is also the main drive of biodynamics. Both methods may differ, but they're more complementary than incompatible. Biodynamic is empirical, experimental and intuitive. It encourages us to walk our vineyards day in and day out. We may cover our boots with mud, but we keep our eyes wide open. Be it in the fields or the cellar, what we observe helps us to understand Nature's laws.

Preserve - Avignonesi endeavours to preserve the environment by capturing greenhouse gases in its rehabilitated soil, treating wastewater, fostering biodiversity and favouring the use of renewable energies while caring for its human resources' well-being. In so doing, Avignonesi intends to preserve the individual and collective interests of consumers.

Serve - Serving is not only contributing to an overwhelming cause. Who claims to save the planet must begin modestly by caring for those most exposed. Often, field workers live in more precarious conditions than flora and fauna. Safety and dignity at work are the cornerstones of our corporate culture.

Deserve - Nature is a treasure that is too often compromised; it deserves everyone's utmost care. Avignonesi belongs to a growing number of vintners who pledge to work humbly for a healthy world in full transparency. We wish to deserve your endorsement as it will support us in our mission. Also, Avignonesi gets on with the job because you deserve it.

Avignonesi is a Benefit Company fully certified organic, biodynamic and vegan. The company has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy when it comes to unethical business behaviour and we expect all members of our business community - board members, employees, business partners and suppliers to adhere to similar standards in carrying out their duties. For this purpose, Avignonesi has drawn out its Ethical Business Policy or Code of Ethics to inform stakeholders of its business ethics expectations.

2. Objectives of the Policy

This policy applies to all Avignonesi’s community members - suppliers, business partners, clients, general members of society, board members and employees (including those designated as fixed term, interns, trainees or authorised volunteers). It also covers former employees and future employees who may come across unethical practices during the recruitment process. The objectives of this policy are:

a. to define the company’s standards of ethical business conduct for all members of its business community specified above

b. to provide avenues for community members to raise concerns about unethical behaviours

c. to assure potential reporters of confidentiality when they register a complaint.

3. Ethical Business Standards

This section of the policy outlines Avignonesi’s principles and standards for ethical business practices.

  1. Business Integrity
    • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
    • Refrain from any and all forms of corruption, extortion or bribery, including kickbacks or gifts, on any portion of contract payments.
    • Support fair competition and practices.
    • Respect the personal dignity, privacy and rights of each individual.
    • Refuse to make any person work against his or her will.
    • Prohibit behavior including gestures, language and physical contact, that is sexual, coercive, threatening, abusive or exploitative.
    • Respect the intellectual property of the company and others.
    • Refrain from the unauthorised use of company assets and funds.
  2. Health, safety and environmental management
    • Commit to comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
    • Use energy and natural resources efficiently.
    • Continually look for ways to improve environmental performance, minimise waste, emissions and discharge from operations.
    • Consider the health and safety risks from its activities to self, colleagues and other employees.
    • Respectful behaviour toward neighbours and societies in which they operate.
    • Manage the social impacts of activities carefully and enhance the benefits to local communities.
    • Recognise that regular dialogue and engagement with stakeholders is essential.
    • In interactions with employees, business partners and local communities, seek to listen and respond to them honestly and responsibly.
    • Business partners and suppliers have a systematic approach to HSE management and continuous performance improvement.
  3. Labour and Human Rights
    Avignonesi complies with and expects its business partners and suppliers to conduct their activities in a manner that respects human rights as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) including ensuring:
    • no use of child labour
    • no use of forced, prison or compulsory labour
    • no payment of recruitment fees by workers
    • compliance with all applicable laws and regulations on freedom of association and collective bargaining
    • a safe, secure and healthy workplace and not tolerating discrimination, harassment or retaliation
    • compliance with all applicable laws and regulations on working hours providing wages and benefits that meet or exceed the national legal standards
    • refrain from discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, union membership, political affiliation or sexual orientation.

4. Confidentiality Safeguards

Avignonesi is committed to maintaining a high standard of openness, probity and accountability. In line with this commitment, it encourages those who have concerns about any ethical aspect related to the company, to come forward and voice those concerns - with confidentiality ensured.

Avignonesi recognises that the decision to report a concern can be a difficult one to make and is motivated to make the reporting experience as smooth as possible. Avignonesi will not tolerate any harassment of or discrimination against the reporter and will take appropriate action to protect them when they raise a concern in good faith.

While the reporter is encouraged to make their identity known at the time of reporting a complaint, it is not compulsory. All concerns in relation to the complaint, including the suspect’s details, will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal the reporter’s identity, if they wish so. It must be noted that if necessary and with the reporter’s consent, the company may request the reporter to appear as a witness.

Please note that the reporter:

  • must disclose the information in good faith
  • must believe it to be substantially true
  • must not act maliciously or make false allegations
  • must not seek any personal gain.

Adequate sanctions will be imposed on those found to engage in any retaliation measures against the reporter as well those who – intentionally or negligently – carry out reports that prove to be unfounded.

5. Reporting Mechanism

Avignonesi has established appropriate reporting channels to allow stakeholders to communicate any breach of its Ethical Business Policy.

Complaints can be reported via email OR through the digital form below.

Email complaint reports should be sent to suggerimenti@avignonesi.it and should specify the reporter's preferences to appear as a witness if needed for the investigation.

Alternatively, the digital form linked here can be filled anonymously to register a complaint.

Thank you for your cooperation!