12 months, 12 resolutions: Consumer health at the centre of OIV priorities

07 May 2024

In its centenary year, the OIV reaffirms its dedication to promoting responsible alcohol consumption and fostering a culture of health and safety for consumers worldwide. Through continued collaboration and education, the organisation aims to empower individuals to make informed choices and lead healthier lives.

Consumption and health evolution in the OIV’s first century works


Dating back to 1934, one of OIV's first resolutions addressed the importance of moderate alcohol consumption and mitigating the risks associated with excessive drinking (the withdrawn resolution C 7/1932 - ECO OIV - Wine in medical hygiene and therapy). Recognising the multifaceted nature of alcohol-related harm, the resolution underscored the importance of considering individual health conditions and moderate wine consumption.

With a century-long history of prioritising consumer health, the OIV remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting responsible consumption and good patterns. In 1994, the OIV adopts the resolution COMEX 1/94 creating the Sub-Commission “Nutrition and Health,” dedicated to gathering and sharing information on the topic. The Sub-commission underscores the OIV’s role in protecting the health of consumers and raising awareness through education about the health risks associated with harmful consumption, as well as the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle that includes vitivinicultural products.


The basis of educational programs on Wine, Society, and Health


In 1998, the Sub-Commission “Nutrition and Health,” still linked to the Oenology Commission, adopts the resolution OENO 1/98 Educational program, “Wine and Society.” The resolution introduced a comprehensive training programme aimed at reinforcing cultural values that discourage alcohol abuse and increase awareness of associated risks, especially among young people. Emphasising the importance of knowledge transmission starting from the family unit, the resolution highlights the need for reinforcing education in other environments where youth are exposed to potential risks.

This resolution is the basis of several educational programs adopted in different OIV’s Member States, and following resolutions, such as the resolution ECO 4/99. This resolution: “Educational program "Wine, alcohol, and society: Healthy lifestyle and behavior," proposes a versatile training framework tailored to different educational levels and content domains. These programmes go beyond mere caution in alcohol consumption to encompass broader topics such as balanced diets, lifestyle choices, sensory perception, behavioural development, and alcohol consumption patterns.


Adopted 30 years ago, these recommendations are still at the centre of the debate


Jean-Claude Ruf, OIV’s Scientific Director, emphasises the importance and the continued relevance of these resolutions in current discussions, adopted by the heretofore International Office of Vine and Wine.


“4 years after the creation of the "Nutrition and Health" Sub-Committee chaired by Charles Crawford (USA), the resolutions herein materialised owing to the accumulated knowledge and experience of the experts in the "Social Aspects of Wine Consumption" group chaired by Ezio Rivella (Italy). At the time, a large number of experts considered that education was a lever for helping individuals to understand themselves better, to become aware of their actions, and to promote informed decision-making, thereby improving behaviour towards alcoholic beverages.”


At a time when we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the OIV, it is clear that these recommendations, adopted almost 30 years ago, are still at the centre of a debate aimed at considering education as an essential element in fostering personal development, as well as encouraging social and civic responsibility. It plays a fundamental role in the construction of a person, particularly regarding his or her relationship with alcoholic beverages.


The OIV has consistently promoted healthy consumption patterns and is committed (or recognise the importance) to placing consumer well-being within the global vitivinicultural debate, while recognising the historical, cultural, human, social, and nutritional value of the grape and its by-products for the society.