The problem with nuts and water usage
- Most of the nuts grow best in areas with a Mediterranean climate where water is often a scarce resource. Its usage has to be optimized and properly shared while preserving local ecosystems.
- The yield of nuts trees is directly impacted by the quantity of water they receive. In some regions, flooding is used to water almonds, a practice that is not as effective as drip irrigation where water is directed on the roots of the plant.
- In parallel, with climate change, producers notice higher risk of extreme weather conditions including both drought and flooding.
In this context, it is key to ensure the nut producers we work with know how to use water efficiently to produce their precious nuts at no cost to their surroundings.
Our commitment: by 2025, all of the nuts we source will come from farms where water is safeguarded.
We will measure and track the quantity of nuts we source according to the following water criteria :
- Produced with efficient irrigation systems and where producers make irrigation decisions based on the real needs of the trees
Efficient irrigation systems include drip irrigation: it delivers drops of water just at the roots of the tree, where it needs it most. With this system, 95% of the water is stored in the soil and available to the tree, versus 75% for less efficient systems such as flooding.
Irrigating based on the real needs of the trees is key to avoid over- or under- irrigating. It is done by calculating evapotranspiration and taking weather updates into account.
- Produced without any irrigation, in dry conditions such as many almond orchards in Spain.
- Produced in areas that are not considered in high water stress
We directly engage with some of our suppliers to support farmers safeguarding water.
For example, we have been working with a nuts cooperative and some local engineers during one year the irrigation practices of a group of farmers: measuring their water consumption, their irrigation schedule, the weather events, the soil moisture, the requirements of their trees and analysing the potential improvements which could be made to increase the quantity of nuts produced per litres of water applied.