Water is a precious resource and as the global population continues to
an increasing level of freshwater will be required for drinking, food
and sanitation. Careful water management will be necessary to ensure that both
supply and demand can be met, whilst preserving the water environment and the
ecology that it supports. Only through collective action involving the wider
chain and other stakeholders can these challenges, both short and long term, be
Water is required for crop growth and is also a primary ingredient of many food
and drink products. During the manufacturing process for food and drink
products, water is frequently used for preparation, production and cleaning.
The food and drink manufacturing sector therefore regards the management of
water as an important environmental priority and as such water sustainability
key consideration in the decision-making process of individual member
FDF supports the provision of a single methodology to assess the water
of a product, which should include the volume of water appropriated and the
impact of its use. For this reason we support the work currently being
ISO to develop an international standard for water accounting and impact
FDF believes that transparency and disclosure are key to meeting the
of stakeholders. It helps companies to focus on continuous improvement and turn
principles into results. We already report annually on the progress made by FDF
members under the Five-fold Environmental Ambition.
FDF calls upon the Government to deliver a long-term strategic approach to
planning for public water supplies, including infrastructure, for people and
businesses and which also protects the environment.
1.1. Under FDF’s Five-fold Environmental Ambition we actively encourage members
to reduce water consumption. This aims to contribute to the industry-wide
absolute target to reduce water use by 20% by 2020 compared to 2007.
1.2 FDF will also encourage its members to:
a) investigate and share knowledge of new technologies to enable them to recycle
water either on site for non direct food contact applications (eg cleaning,
boiler make up water etc) or for use by third parties to assist in the
water demand. However FDF calls for a wider policy debate on water reuse to
reach a consensus on appropriate standards for the sector;
b) establish a water policy, either separately or as part of an environmental
c). engage with local communities in the localities in which they operate as
part of an integrated environmental management approach
1.3 FDF will encourage its members to work with suppliers to improve their water
conservation, quality monitoring, waste water-treatment and recycling
FDF's Ambition to Reduce Water Use
FDF is committed to making a collective contribution to an industry-wide
absolute targetto reduce water use, outside of that embedded in products themselves, by 20% by
2020 against a 2007 baseline.
This commitment is delivered through the Five-fold Environmental Ambition
launched in 2007 to reduce environmental impacts in the food and drink manufacturing
As part of our wider Five-fold Environmental Ambition aims, we have also been
looking at ways of improving water use and management throughout the supply chain.
In December 2011 we published a guide – Every Last Drop – setting out practical
advice for businesses on what can be done to save water and manage its use
effectively along the supply chain, including as individuals at home. Alongside this
guide we also launched a dedicated water page on our website giving further sources of help and information along with best
practice case studies.
1. Proposed in the context of the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy
published by Defra in 2006.
Water is arguably the planet’s most precious and vital natural
resource. The twin pressures of an ever increasing global
population and the effects of climate change mean that all of
us, whether at home or in the work place, share a responsibility
to use it as efficiently as possible and with due regard to the
needs of others. Only through such careful management will
we be able to ensure that future demand is met and that the
water environment and ecology it supports is safeguarded. Industry, water
suppliers and consumers therefore all have a part to play.
These issues are particularly important for the long term sustainability of the
food and drink industry because of its reliance on a supply of freshwater for
both its raw material and processing needs. Food and drink manufacturers
themselves are significant users of water both as an essential ingredient in
and drink products and also in preparation, production and cleaning processes.
estimated that the UK food sector’s demand for water from the public water
supply is about 430 mega litres per day, and directly abstracts about 260 mega litres of water per day. Defra estimates that this amounts to about 10% of all industrial use.
Water an essential ingredient in many food and drink products. It is also used
in food and drink preparation, production and cleaning processes. However, the
food and drink manufacturing industry can help to conserve water to alleviate
water stress providing food safety and hygiene is not compromised.
4. A mega litre is 1,000,000 litres.
5. Report of the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy Champions Group of Water,
Last reviewed: 23 Dec 2014