70% of the world’s freshwater resources are used for agriculture. As pressure on this limited resource grows, agricultural supply chains will depend on a sustainable approach to water management. As a result, food system stakeholders are now expected to provide evidence documenting their efforts to manage water risks and promote sustainable practices.

Last year in a pilot project with GLOBALG.A.P., ALDI North, ALDI South and HOFER tested the SPRING add-on with selected international fruit and vegetables producers. Having performed ‘ hot-spot analyses’ for water-critical fresh produce items such as avocados, bananas or tomatoes, ALDI had already identified water-related risks producers in their global supply chains. The aim of the project was to test SPRING as a tool for monitoring and improving water management for farmers. Currently ALDI is reviewing the results of the trial audits as part of their ongoing sustainable water strategy.

SPRING incorporates a wide range of criteria to assess sustainable water management on the farm. These include:

  • Legal conformity of water sources and extraction rates
  • Monitoring of water consumption
  • Impact of producers on sustainable watershed management
  • Best practices in water management
  • Protection of water sources
  • Measures to demonstrate continuous improvement of water management