Sunday, October 1, 2023

Years In the Making, All of Belvedere’s Vodka Is Now Certified Organic


Luxury vodka brand Belvedere, a subsidiary of LVMH, is now certified organic — a promise kept on its sustainability roadmap.

Belvedere has been on the road to transitioning its award-winning vodkas to fully organic for years. It began sourcing all of its ingredients from certified and traceable organic sources in 2021, and aims to be 100 percent traceable by 2025.

The luxury vodka brand’s transformation into an organic entity aligns with its long-standing sustainability commitments. The new iteration of Belvedere will continue to employ its traditional distillation process, involving the use of fire and purified water.

“When we have pledged to become an organic brand, our consumers fully supported our commitment,” Sophie Clerc, the vodka brand director at Moët Hennessy U.S., said in a statement. “From the responses we are receiving, we see a tremendous interest and enthusiasm for this new iteration of Belvedere.”

Clerc says this change is not a new product innovation, but, rather, an evolution of the label’s classic vodka. “We’ve transitioned our recipe to feature 100 percent organic-certified diamond rye, crafted using the same proprietary process used for our non-organic predecessor that has been however upgraded in order to be organic-certified as well. It’s the same Polish vodka we all know and love, simply elevated.”

Janelle Monae for Belvedere
Janelle Monae for Belvedere | Courtesy

Belvedere, crafted in Żyrardów, Poland, is a zero-additive vodka boasting a forty percent alcohol by volume (ABV) in its 700ml offering. The brand has broadened its range in recent years, most notably with a ‘rare’ vodka, employing a unique ten-step process and rye from a single harvest. The brand also introduced a malted rye spirit drink, the Belvedere Heritage 176.

A longstanding history in vodka distilling adds to the label’s commitments; the company says it draws from a 600-year vodka-making history in order to craft traditional Polish rye into “dynamic vodkas of distinct taste and character,” Belvedere Vodka CEO Rodney Williams told Forbes in 2021.

“What sets Belvedere apart is our philosophy and process,” Williams says. “Made
with Polish rye, purified water and distilled by fire, Belvedere contains zero additives, in
accordance with the legal regulations of Polska Vodka that dictate nothing can be added, including no added sugar.”

Not taking shortcuts is baked into the Belvedere ethos and lends itself well to the company’s sustainability commitments. “We’ve always believed in being natural and simple, transforming real and raw ingredients from nature into extraordinary vodka of taste and character,” Williams said.

Belvedere vodka
Belvedere vodka | Courtesy

The vodka’s organic transition adds another feather in the cap for parent company LVMH, which recently became the first European firm surpassing a market value of €455 billion (US$500 billion). Its spirits division has been particularly focused on sustainability; in 2021 it announced a €20 million development and research center focused on sustainable wine and spirits development. In May, Moët Hennessy partnered with ChangeNOW to help protect soil. Last year, Hennessy announced a Forest Destination regeneration program —  a commitment to regenerate 50,000 hectares of forest by 2030. A regenerative soil program is also on the horizon for Belvedere, set to launch in Poland.

Belvedere’s commitment to sustainability extends to packaging as well, having eradicated 95 percent of single-use plastic from its supply chain and plans to further reduce its plastic usage by 50 percent. It also aims to increase its use of recycled plastics by half and transition to recycled glass by 2025. It announced plans to become almost carbon neutral by the end of last year through the use of an on-site biomass plant capable of generating 100 percent renewable energy.

According to Williams, the label cut its CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent between 2012 and 2017. In 2018, it became the first spirits distillery to receive a grant from the European Commission to help pilot an “aggressive energy project” — an on-site biomass capture facility that helped transition the label to 100 percent renewable energy.

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