A field of lettuce growing with hills and landscape in the background

The problem

  • 1.1 million tonnes of fruit and veg are imported into the UK annually from Southern Spain (source).
  • Southern Spain is one of the most at-risk sourcing regions for UK supply in terms of water scarcity and quality, with agriculture being a key driver.
  • Diffuse pollution by nutrients from agrochemicals, and water scarcity caused by the combined effects of climate change and severe droughts, abstraction (some illegal) for irrigation and livestock, and depletion of aquafers are all contributing factors. 
  • This presents a significant business risk, in terms of increasing water scarcity, supply disruption (source), and reputational risk.
  • Over half of surface and ground water bodies in the region do not meet 'good ecological status'. 

Our project

The project launched in 2021 and is led by Good Stuff International

The programme brings together businesses, growers and other relevant stakeholders to take forward collective action at the catchment or river basin level. This will involve a range of interventions, farmer engagement and knowledge sharing, working with certification bodies and joint advocacy to improve water governance. 

By supporting our new collective action programme in Southern Spain organisations can help us establish water stewardship and reduce the incidences of illegal water use, dramatically reducing water-related risks in the main fruit and vegetable production areas, specifically Andalusia, Murcia and going forwards, Valencia. 

How to get involved

We are still actively looking for companies to join us.

Please email us your contact details and company name via the link below to get involved.

Get involved

The project plan

A project plan has been developed that runs from 2022 to 2030 and sets out the multi-stakeholder actions needed across four workstreams: 

  1. Improving understanding of water risks and diagnosing action needed at a macro and local level
  2. Supporting collective water stewardship action in several specific priority locations to improve water quality status
  3. Strengthening certification standards
  4. Advocating for better water governance.

The target regions for the first phases of the workplan are Doñana and Murcia and involve establishing a foundation for Water Stewardship practise in both regions. 

There have been 4 key objectives identified for the workplan in Doñana: 

  1. Drive water stewardship practise; 

  2. Improve legality of water use; 

  3. Decrease water scarcity and quality risk, and improve water resilience of farmers and value chains; 

  4. Improve state of groundwater bodies and ecosystem condition. 

Key initial activities will include: 

  • Building a foundational living repository on the local water situation; 

  • Understanding, awareness, capacity building and engagement from stakeholders; 

  • Establish an initial framework for a common approach to verify legal water use; 

  • Get a longer-term fundraising strategy in place.  

We are currently still building a better picture of the issues in Murcia (Mar Menor/Segura basin) to be able to help inform a concrete work plan.  

For more information and to get your business involved with this collective action project please get in touch.

Contact the team

Other projects include: