Dole Europe has launched a new focus on water efficiency as it looks to reduce its water footprint.
The supplier will look at four areas of water efficiency: maximization of rainwater use, implementation of advanced irrigation techniques, optimisation of the water used during the packing process.
Since Dole joined the Water Footprint Network, the results of the company’s efforts to conserve water are “quantifiable and meaningful”.
Preliminary results of research conducted in Costa Rica suggest that around 100 litres of water are used to produce one kilo of Dole pineapples, and around 250 litres for a kilo of bananas.
This compares to a global average of around 1,600 litres of water used for the production of a kilo of plums and 3,000 litres of water for one kilo of rice.
Roberto Vega, director of sustainability at Dole, said: “Water stewardship is very important to Dole. In addition to Carbon Footprint, soil conservation and packaging, it is one of the four pillars our sustainability strategy is built on. `Some` 75 per cent of the water used worldwide is used by agriculture. As a result, companies working in this industry have the responsibility to efficiently use this scare resource. Our role is simply critical."