Driscoll’s Joins Ceres-WWF AgWater Challenge
- by Chandler James
WATSONVILLE, CA - The long and winding road that leads to a sustainable future is continuously moving through the produce industry. Between global warming and waning resources, Mother Nature has us pressed for time. Ceres and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have teamed up to promote the AgWater Challenge in an effort to manage natural resources. Today Driscoll’s announced its participation in the challenge, reinforcing a commitment to water stewardship and supporting its network of more than 750 independent growers within local agricultural communities.
“Driscoll’s recognizes that driving to solutions for sustainable water management requires coordinated efforts from all stakeholders,” explained Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s CEO. "Our team will leverage the expertise of Ceres and WWF, as well as Challenge participants like Danone and Target, to advance comprehensive solutions that protect our most precious resource.”
The AgWater Challenge encourages companies to set ambitious goals that address the global water crisis. Time-bound commitments that Driscoll’s and other companies have made include assessing water risks in key regions, collaborating at the watershed level to protect resources in high-risk areas, and supporting farmers to manage water resources.
"Building upon a solid foundation of stewardship, Driscoll's new water commitments take the company’s work to the next level," said Kirsten James, Director of Water at Ceres. "Driscoll’s participation in the AgWater Challenge sends an important signal that smart water management is increasingly a business imperative."
Driscoll’s has long been a leader in the sustainable management of natural resources like water. Reiter, the company’s Chairman and CEO, was one of the earliest supporters of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which mandates aquifer balance in California. It also established a community-led forum called the Pajaro Valley Community Dialogue, which led to the establishment of a wireless irrigation network that has significantly reduced the amount of water needed in the fields.
“The availability and quality of water is one of the most critical issues of the 21st century. With agriculture using 70 percent of our water resources, food and beverage companies must seize the opportunity now to act in order to ensure our water systems are resilient in the future,” said Nicole Tanner, WWF’s Water Stewardship Lead. “By participating in the AgWater Challenge and committing to strategic action, Driscoll’s solidifies its place as a water stewardship champion and exemplifies what it means to work locally on water security efforts.”
The commitment to the Ceres/WWF AgWater Challenge is just one part of Driscoll’s emphasis on enriching communities in which its berries are grown, harvested, and sold. Family-owned for generations, Driscoll’s is comprised of thousands of individuals—each with a unique story of hard work, dedication, setbacks, and success. Collectively, they make up one interwoven family that is greater than the sum of its parts. Driscoll’s vision is to enrich lives by growing in harmony with the communities and the environment it depends upon.
Congratulations to Driscoll’s on taking yet another step toward a more sustainable world. Keep reading AndNowUKnow to see how the industry is making moves for the environment.