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New report asks the food and drink business to tackle water quality

A new report ‘Smartwater - a prosperous future for the food and drink supply chain’ undertaken by the Business in the Community (BITC) asks food and drink businesses to improve water quality and reduce water usage.

The food and drink sector has a large impact on water use, through their direct operations and supply chains.


Implications of the Smartwater report

The report is calling on the food and beverage industry and retailers to think about what happens in their own factory or operations, and to also consider how water is used in the agricultural supply chain to improve water efficiency and reduce pesticides. Environment Minister Rory Stewart, stated ‘This is really exciting work and I would like to see more innovation and progress right across the water sector.’

The report provides practical advice for food manufacturers including six steps to improve water quality and use:

  1. Understand their relationship with water
  2. Create a plan of action
  3. Manage water sustainably in their operations
  4. Work with their agricultural suppliers
  5. Build resilience to flooding and water shortages
  6. Collaborate on sustainable water management


Download the Smartwater report

BITC  worked on the report, which forms part of a Defra funded project, alongside a number of key partners including the, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Agency, Food and Drink Federation and the National Farmers Union.

This project has formed part of the work of the BITC Water Taskforce; a group of companies, chaired by Steve Mogford, Chief Executive of United Utilities. The Taskforce has come together to provide practical advice in developing resilience and innovation around water.

Click here to download Smartwater - a prosperous future for the food and drink supply chain.