Doñana Sustainable Berry Project
15 November 2018
One of our Little Helps Plan actions is to improve water and biodiversity impacts from agriculture in key parts of our supply chain. One of these regions is the Doñana region in Spain.
Spain is the second largest producer of strawberries worldwide, with the Doñana region accounting for about 70% of the country’s strawberries. The rapid growth of berry production in the Doñana region has contributed to the strain on the quantity and quality of water resources, which is also home to more than six million migratory birds and a protected wetland. In addition to environmental damage, a reduction in water levels threatens the long-term production of berries from the region, which supports an estimated 200,000 people.
To help find a long-term sustainable solution to this problem, in 2016 Tesco joined the Doñana Berry Project, convened by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform. The project allows us to share knowledge about the environmental challenges in the region and to collaborate with our peers and other partners in industry, for example WWF. An important part of the project is ensuring that we take credible collective action, such as engaging the regional authorities on water governance and legality, and developing effective industry standards. Another part of the project has been the launch in 2017 of a sector-wide training programme, whereby berry growers are introduced to best practice so they can reduce their water usage. We can also apply the experiences and lessons from the project to other parts of our supply chain facing similar environmental challenges.