OTC Organics has announced that its organic limes project in Colombia is now officially SPRING certified.
The grower group Excoagro/Aspromayo, made up of 61 farmers, is the first organic limes producer in the world to earn GlobalGAP SPRING certification.
SPRING stands for Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use and is a farm-level add-on which helps producers, retailers and traders demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water management.
“In our continuous efforts to contribute to a more sustainable world we work hard with our strategic partners worldwide to manage water risks and promote sustainable practices,' said Alexander Restrepo, product development manager at OTC Organics.
'Water is becoming a limited resource; freshwater makes up only about 3 per cent of all water on earth,' he outlined. 'Although freshwater is considered a renewable resource, the use of freshwater in some regions exceeds the ability of natural processes to replenish supplies.
'In other words we need to be careful with what we have,' Restrepo continued. 'Our Colombian organic limes growers together with our product development team have done an exceptional job to obtain the SPRING add-on certificate of conformity.”
He explained how, for the growers and the certification team of Excoagro, the implementation and achievement of SPRING certification had been a learning process that made all the involved aware of the importance of considering water as a limited resource.
'Water supply is not forever granted,' Restrepo warned. 'Without fresh, unpolluted and sufficient water agriculture is non-viable. It is our responsibility to use this precious resource correctly, to protect it and to not contaminate it.
'Nowadays water management is a major element in the frontline discussions about sustainability. OTC Organics and its strategic partners as stakeholders in the organic food supply chain take responsibility and implement ways to measure and protect our water resources used in organic agriculture.
“Organic limes from Excoagro/Aspromayo are available year-round at OTC Organics,' he added. 'Buying these organic limes through OTC Organics or our partner retailers and wholesalers across Europe contributes to a future proof sustainable organic lime production.'