IGD publishes free water guide

A new guide about water in grocery supply chains is being published by IGD, the international food and grocery supply chain analysts.

The free Understanding, assessing and managing water in grocery supply chains guide is designed to help food and grocery companies of all sizes assess the impact of, and better manage, the increasing water-related risks they face.

  • Water is a scarce resource: only 0.5% of global water is available as freshwater for human-use
  • As a global average, irrigation accounts for 70% of water withdrawals
  • The food and grocery supply chain is a heavy water user
  • The UK imports about 62% of its water needs, mainly embedded in agricultural products.

The guide outlines the main challenges faced by food and grocery companies and across the industry, while also suggesting easy-to-follow solutions.

It has been put together by an industry working group consisting of major grocery retailers, manufacturers and primary producers. These organisations are part of the larger IGD Industry Sustainability Group, which steers IGD’s sustainability programme.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “The triple challenge of a fixed water supply, steadily increasing population and more frequent extreme weather, makes the risk of a ‘Water Crunch’ one of the biggest threats we’ve faced in decades.

“The food and grocery industry is taking the lead on tackling a possible water crisis.

“The IGD guide is a deep and broad information source, containing practical tips for companies to assess and manage water across their supply chains. It is useful to both large and small organisations seeking to address this growing challenge.”