How collaboration is tackling water challenges: SAI Platform Projects

20th March 2019

“To solve the global water crisis, we need action at landscape level. To do this without engaging wider communities of water users is mission impossible. SAI Platform is well placed to mobilise collaborative action that is needed and leverage on the network of experts in its member base and their supply chains to navigate this complex yet vital resource.”

Emmanuelle Hopkinson, Sustainability Delivery Manager, Marks and Spencer & Co-Chair Crops Working Group

As SAI Platform marks World Water Day, we highlight the importance of projects addressing water and sustainability.

Growers are not only facing issues of water scarcity but also quality: both critical factors for the sustainable production of agricultural commodities. As water continues to be a cherished resource that is hard to manage SAI Platform is developing solutions and initiatives with growers to support and drive positive impact on-the-ground.

Sustainable water management for agricultural use is a major concern when it comes to feeding over 7 billion people across the planet. At SAI Platform there is power in collaboration when tackling issues that are greater than any one supply chain alone. Spotlight, SAI Platform’s online collaboration tool, is playing a primary role in realising the full potential of collaborative power as members using this tool to flag areas and topics of concern and opportunity. Already this year, SAI Platform members have identified over 50 potential projects addressing water challenges. To date, upcoming projects include the California Almond Water Project, showcasing improved water management techniques in the world’s most important almond growing region. Work is also underway to identify and recommend priorities for water management with respect to climate change in Brazil and Spain.

SAI Platform is already achieving positive impact with improved water-related agricultural practices. The Doñana Berry Project started in 2014, drives sectoral transformation by training farmers and showcasing the possibilities of improved water management, leading to improved farming practices and positive environmental outcomes. In Italy, SAIRISI the sustainable rice project is working with rice farmers to advance improved sustainability practices, including water management.

“Around the globe, there is a tremendous variance in crops grown, the practices utilised for local agriculture, and the potential impacts these practices have on local water stress.  By leveraging our geographically diverse group of members, SAI Platform is able to identify important projects, drive on the ground progress, and then share the learning points of those projects across our member base. Through this approach, we are able to drive progress in sustainable agriculture and help be better stewards of the planet’s most valuable resource . . . water.”

Brian Nash, Senior Director Sustainability, Ingredion & Co-Chair of the Crops Working Group