“We hope to see a thriving agricultural berry industry in Spain that will support people’s livelihoods alongside a thriving environment that will support the natural world. The Doñana Berry Project is facilitating a means for the two spheres to coexist.” – Ben Summers, Sustainability Manager, innocent drinks
To mark World Water Day, we highlight the important role of SAI Platform and our members working on the Doñana Berry Project in the water scarce region of Huelva, Spain.
Water is a scarce resource, becoming more so in specific regions around the globe. The Doñana area in Huelva, Spain, is home to an amazing array of biodiversity including more than 6 million migratory birds as well as being the heart of Spain’s strawberry production. However, due to multiple factors, the wetlands are in danger of drying up. Significantly decreased water levels not only threaten the production of strawberries and other crops, but also threaten one of Europe’s most important ecological systems and the livelihoods of an estimated 200,000 people.
In 2014, SAI Platform’s Doñana Berry Project members began working together with WWF Spain seeing the urgent need and an opportunity for the private sector to initiate change and scale efforts on water sustainability in the region.
Building upon work already began by WWF 10 years previous, the project is striving for water efficiency in the region, by providing training programmes for farmers and local technicians, as well as working with local authorities, and developing industry alignment in the region. The project is funded by membership fees, as well as a recently being awarded a grant by the Coca-Cola Foundation.
The significance of innovative collaboration is key to the success of the Doñana Berry Project. Retailers, brand companies and suppliers as well as external stakeholders like the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and a local consultative group involving local agricultural institutions and organisations such Freshuelva, are creating a more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable and prosperous region.
Despite many external challenges, the Doñana Berry Project stands as a winning model for an industry-driven approach for advancing sustainability, for which SAI Platform is very proud to be a part.
Project Members: BerryWorld, Coop Switzerland, Danone, Iberfruta, innocent drinks, Marks & Spencer, Migros, SVZ and Tesco
Special project advisor: WWF Spain
Consultative Group: Freshuelva, IFAPA, Consejería Agricultura, CR Fresno, CR Condado, CHG, WWF Spain.
Management and Training Partners: SAI Platform, Optiriego Consulting, NIAB EMR
HOW TO GET INVOLVED?
The Doñana Berry Project is always looking for new project members, to further drive project impact.
Contact Jenny Edwards, Programme Lead – Fruit & Nut.