Clean water and sanitation

Being mindful of water consumption is essential.



VBT cooperatives use as much collected and stored rainwater as possible for sanitary purposes, as well as cooling and conditioning processes. More than 42% of their water consumption is rainwater, a 50% increase in 5 years. For sorting processes, drinking water is used for food safety reasons, but as thriftily as possible.

In the past years, with the support of the VBT cooperatives, producers have been able to commit to appropriate water usage that’s adapted to local conditions. Four fifths have put measures in place to limit their use of tap and ground water and are collecting  rainwater. Two thirds reuse water. One fifth even purifies the waste water on site.

The quality of surface water remains a focal point. For fields near rivers, required fertilisation for fruit and vegetable farming still flows away too easily, increasing and exceeding the nitrate norm in the water. The cooperatives and research institutions participate in awareness and information programmes to contribute to the improvement of water quality in the agricultural sector and to help achieve the goals set out by the Nitrate guidelines. Research is being done into the purifying of waste liquids.