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Responsible water management in Ica, Peru

In October 2022, SIFAV initiated activities to support responsible water management in Ica, Peru.

These include the implementation of the SIFAV Basket of Water Standards, water efficiency benchmarking, capacity building for responsible water stewardship by buyers, engagement with stakeholders in Ica, and the development of a future project portfolio.

Approved water management standards

Water is an essential part of the SIFAV ambitions for 2025. The SIFAV partners have committed to implementing approved good water management standards to at least 70% of volume coming from high water risk regions by 2025. To achieve this ambition, SIFAV has developed a Basket of Water Standards as well as a list of high-water-risk regions. In addition, SIFAV partners have committed to actively promoting best water practices, water use efficiency, and collective action in 3 jointly selected catchments.

First catchment for collective action

In 2021, Ica in Peru was selected by the SIFAV partners as the first catchment for collective action. There are 18 SIFAV partners that source mainly pomegranate, avocado, grapes, blueberries, citrus and asparagus from Ica, making it a highly relevant area to initiate engagement with suppliers. Early 2022, SIFAV created the Ica Working Group in which these companies come together to align on their approach to supporting responsible water management in Ica. All working group members have agreed to implement the Basket of Water Standards in Ica, and additionally to collect and benchmark water use efficiency data from Ica suppliers, to better understand environmental impact and to facilitate the adoption of best practices. Additionally, five SIFAV partners and the SIFAV Secretariat have, with co-funding of IDH, decided to move towards action and fund several engagement activities with Ica suppliers and the wider group of SIFAV partners in Europe. These are Best Fresh Group, Greenyard Group (with several subsidiaries), Nature’s Pride, and Salud Food Group.

Ica Catchment Passport

To execute this assignment, water expert Good Stuff International has recently been appointed. Good Stuff International previously created the Ica Catchment Passport, which was financed by SIFAV and the Nature’s Pride Foundation. This document depicts in a condensed and scientifically robust way the water situation of the Ica catchment and identifies opportunities to contribute to the resilience of the Ica catchment by involving the entire value chain. This new phase builds on the knowledge previously acquired through this exercise.

The assignment to Good Stuff International entails:

Capacity building in Europe

Train the sourcing teams of SIFAV partners on the topic of water sustainability in general and on the water situation in the Ica Catchment specifically. The goal is to develop a common language and understanding of water and the specific context in Ica in order to facilitate a constructive dialogue between Peruvian suppliers and their European buyers.

Update of key information and capacity building in Ica
Engage with key stakeholders in Ica, including suppliers of SIFAV partners, to deepen and update the knowledge acquired through the Ica Catchment Passport concerning key stakeholders, current public policies, and private initiatives. Also, like in Europe, Good Stuff International will offer training sessions to interested stakeholders in Ica with the goal to develop a common language and understanding of the water situation in Ica.
Pre-selection of possible projects
Through an inclusive and participatory process with local stakeholders, Good Stuff International will make a pre-selection of possible projects that contribute to the resilience of the Ica catchment.
Project proposal for one selected project
For one selected project idea, Good Stuff International will develop the project plan, objectives, KPIs, work streams, milestones, budget, and partners.

The assignment started in November 2022 and will finish in the first half of 2023. Through this next phase of work in Ica, SIFAV and its partners wish to contribute to a shared understanding and responsibility for concrete actions that support responsible water use in Ica. When all actors in the value chain work together – from Peru to Europe – important progress can be made to strengthen the resilience of the catchment. In Europe, the results of this exercise will be shared with the broader group of SIFAV partners to inspire positive action in other regions, countries, and crops. In Peru, we invite growers and key stakeholders from Ica to join this process and make it a success together.