A Lodi vineyard qualifies for certification if it meets two criteria.
- First, the farming practices used in the vineyard must achieve a score of 50% or better for each chapter of The Lodi Rules. Scoring below 50% on any chapter, even if the scores are very high on all the others, disqualifies the vineyard from certification. Furthermore, the farming practice points achieved in all chapters combined must exceed 70% of the total farming practice points available. Moreover, a vineyard cannot have scored a ‘Fail Chapter’ on any of the 15 ‘Fail Chapter’ standards discussed previously.
- Second, the environmental impact units for all pesticides used in that vineyard for the year, calculated by The Lodi Rules PEAS model, cannot exceed 50 units.
The vineyard must qualify for certification each year. An independent auditor visits the vineyard to ensure compliance with The Lodi Rules and, using The Lodi Rules PEAS model, verifies that pesticides used in the vineyard for the year have not exceeded the environmental impact unit threshold.
Lodi growers chose Protected Harvest as the third party certifier of The Lodi Rules program. This decision was based on several important factors.
- First, Consumer’s Union gives Protected Harvest its highest report card rating for a third party certifying organization (http://www.ecolabels.org/).
- Second, to achieve endorsement by Protected Harvest the sustainable farming standards must pass a scientific peer review process as well as a Protected Harvest Board review. Last but not least, we liked the two components that make up the requirements for achieving Protected Harvest certification, farming practices as well as assessing the environmental impact of pesticides used in the vineyard.