The Dutch importer has announced the successful pilot of GlobalGAP’s water add-on audit, SPRING, as part of its efforts to utilise water more responsibly.

According to the company, six of its growers in Peru and Chile have gained their SPRING certification, which independently confirms the “legality of water sources, best practices and continuous improvement in on-farm water management”.

Nature’s Pride agreed with GlobalGAP back in early 2019 to test SPRING, which stands for ‘Sustainable Programme for Irrigation and Groundwater Use’, on strategic growers of various crops in Peru and Chile. Following six months of training in the new standard, 25 fields were audited in August and September, with all growers passing.

Adriëlle Dinkier, chief commercial officer at Nature’s Pride, commented: “I’m very proud that the SPRING pilot independently confirms that Nature’s Pride dedicated growers in Peru and Chile have excellent on-farm water management practices.”

The company’s efforts to better manage water resources were ramped up two years ago with the mapping of water risk throughout the value chain, the initiation of collaborations with expert organisations and actions on the ground like SPRING.

The SPRING pilot forms part of a wider commitment from Nature’s Pride to responsible water use, including actions concerning procurement practices, sector engagement and collective action in priority catchments.

“Certain catchments face serious water challenges,” the company stated. “Only through collective coordination of all water users can water consumption within a catchment be brought within sustainable levels.”

“It’s in our nature to put people and the environment at the heart of our operations,” said Dinkier. “Water is one of the most precious natural resources and we need to protect it for future generations. We will roll out SPRING to other growers and will continue to engage with key stakeholders in our value chain to promote responsible water use in our sector together.”