Food production’s water use cut 37% in 10 years

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink manufacturers reduced their water use by 35.8% last year, compared to a 2007 baseline
Food and drink manufacturers reduced their water use by 35.8% last year, compared to a 2007 baseline

Related tags Agriculture Fdf

Food and drink manufacturers have cut their water use by more than a third (35.8%) over the past 10 years, reveals Food and Drink Federation (FDF) statistics.

The amount of water used per product was cut by 36.6%, the results also showed. Almost 0.9m3​ of water per tonne has been reduced over the past 10 years.

Last year, FDF members used 12.8Mm3​ of water, the figures revealed. That was 1.2Mm3​ less water than the previous year.

The FDF said the results revealed industry-wide progress towards its target of 20% water reduction cut by 2020, compared with 2007 figures.

‘A critically important resource’

FDF chief scientist Helen Munday said: “Water is a critically important resource for our industry and for the food supply of the UK. Today’s results are impressive, and clearly demonstrate the commitment of our members to continuous improvement.

“Under FDF’s Ambition 2025, members will continue to take action on water use, both in terms of operational efficiency and reducing impacts across supply chains.”

The FDF’s water reduction target of 20% by 2020 was part of its Ambition 2025 strategy. The strategy was designed to help deliver a more sustainable food system, it said.

Sustainable supply chains

Other Ambition 2025 commitments included: a 55% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990, zero food waste to landfill from 2016 and to promote sustainable supply chains in the sector.

Meanwhile, the efficient use of water resources will feature in the Food Manufacture Group’s latest free­ webinar​, taking place at 3pm on Thursday June 15.

The webinar – Sustainable snacking trends for 2017 – will feature presentations on the effective use of water from Almond Board of California and the latest snacking trends from Innova Market Insights.

FDF water report – at a glance

  • 35.8% less water in production than 2007
  • 1.2Mm​less water used than in 2015
  • 36.6% less water used per product

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