Water – our precious resource

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.

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.

Water sustainability should be a key consideration in the decision-making process of all individual food and drink companies both within their own operations as well as across their supply chains.

View FDF's policy on water.

Every Last Drop campaign

The Every Last Drop campaign provides guidance on how UK food and drink businesses can save water.

Find out more about Every Last Drop campaign - Saving water along the food supply chain

Water case studies

Food and drink companies taking action on water.

Water presentation: Nestle's approach to water resources management: Water: Impacts, Risks and Opportunities in our Supply Chain.

FDF Fivefold Environmental Ambition - Water

FDF and its members are committed to making a collective contribution to an industry-wide absolute target to reduce water use, outside of that embedded in products, by 20% by 2020 against a 2007 baseline.

This collective industry wide target is set out in Defra's Food Industry Sustainability Strategy (FISS) recommendations.

Until 2014, this ambition was delivered through the Federation House Commitment (FHC) which was launched in 2008 to improve water efficiency in the food and drink manufacturing sector. From 2008 to 2014 the reporting of progress towards this target was managed by WRAP.

The FHC ended in 2014. However, FDF will continue to collect and report collective FDF member progress towards the wider industry target as part of its on-going Five-fold environmental commitment. Find out more about the Five-fold Environmental Ambition.

Progress to 2014

FDF members submitting data reported that they had reduced their absolute water consumption in 2014 by 24.2 % compared to the 2007 baseline. Clearly this is an excellent result demonstrating continued progress and it represents a major contribution to the wider FISS industry target. In addition, the amount of water consumed per tonne of product had reduced by 26.3% over the same period. View the full progress report.

More information

Last reviewed: 23 Dec 2014