With an attendance of 113 online connections, the Ethical Trade Forums Online Seminar was held on Thursday 30 September on the theme of “Responsible Use of Water”.
At the initiative of the Sustainability ETF Working Group, this session was organised in response to a demand raised by companies in the environmental field and on which this Working Group has been working for months.
“How to move from risk to opportunity in water management in agriculture” was the presentation that opened the session by Rafa Seiz, Policy Technician of the Water Programme of WWF Spain. He spoke about the current situation in terms of responsible water management, pollution problems and measures that can be taken once we are aware of the water risks.
He gave as an example the European Green Deal, but also tools that are in the immediate area of companies such as crop rotation, demand management, sustainable management of underground water reserves, saving policies, efficiency improvement, improvement and protection of aquatic ecosystems and aquifers as sources of resources, etc.
Laura Mesa Pérez from ACERTA, who was accompanied by her colleague Laura Hidalgo Bermejo, ACERTA’s auditor in the Huelva region, explained in detail the basics of Global G.A.P.’s SPRING Module. Both are specialists in the agricultural sector and have extensive knowledge in quality improvement, compliance with food safety and environmental requirements and legislation.
After an introduction to the Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use (SPRING), she focused on the key points in the assessment process and the applicable regulations. She explained how to obtain SPRING focusing on the control points (Objective Risk Assessment, Legal Compliance, Water Resources Management, Environmental Management and Traceability) and ended the presentation by detailing how the results of the assessment are presented.
The third speaker of the session was Ángel Silvente Ortega, Head of the Department of Energy and Water at the Miguel Hernández Secondary School in Alhama de Murcia, who spoke about the impact of the climate crisis. Water resources and their distribution in the world, water uses and their impact on agriculture, especially in Spain, and the climate scenario that we are facing in the coming years due to the variation in rainfall and the evolution of droughts. Subsequently, he went into the Higher Level Capacity Building Cycle in Water Management in which the future and current specialists in water management are trained, some of whom are already working in some of the companies in the sector with great satisfaction on both sides.
This meeting was attended by a group of students from the Higher Level Training Cycle on Water from the Miguel Hernández Secondary School in Alhama de Murcia.
The attendees gave a positive evaluation of this Seminary, the content of which can and should be further developed and deepened in the future.