SPRING – Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Use of Groundwater
70% of the world’s freshwater resources are used for agriculture. With increasing pressure on this limited resource, agricultural supply chains will soon depend on a sustainable approach to water management. Thus, food system actors are now expected to provide evidence of their efforts to manage water-related risks and promote sustainable practices.
SPRING is a farm-level add-on that helps growers, retailers and traders demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water management, and can be applied in conjunction with the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA for Crops. SPRING incorporates a large number of criteria to assess whether sustainable water management is being carried out on the farm. Some of these criteria are as follows:
- Legal compliance of water sources and withdrawal rates
- Monitoring water consumption
- Impact of producers in the sustainable management of hydrographic basins
- Best practices in water management
- Protection of water sources
- Measures that demonstrate continuous improvement of water management
Those producers who effectively apply the SPRING add-on receive a certificate of conformity, which can also be viewed in the GLOBALG.A.P. database. Authorized supply chain actors can also access the full audit report as a “SPRING observer”, via the GLOBALG.A.P. database.
The SPRING add-on was developed in 2016 by the Swiss retail company Coop in collaboration with GLOBALG.A.P., and in 2019 ownership of the standard was officially transferred to GLOBALG.A.P.