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Naturland includes irrigation in its guidelines
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The certification body Naturland has incorporated standards for the sustainable use of water for irrigation in its guidelines for producers. The specific guideline imposes specials requirements on farms that irrigate in dry areas.
In regions with a shortage of water– defined, for example, according to the criteria of the environmental organisation WWF – the Naturland guideline requires farms (in B I 7) to verify the legal status of wells and water sources. They must use efficient irrigation systems, demonstrate that they are being maintained and measure the consumption of water. Farms also have to collect and use rainwater and draw up a water management plan before the first certification. Moreover, Naturland can “issue specific operational instructions for certain regions, especially those with a particular farm density and farms of a particular size.”
The new guideline was triggered by the fact that Naturland has for a number of years been certifying farms with glasshouses in Almeria in Spain and in some other Mediterranean regions. They said it became clear that “specifically in Almeria the themes of water use and social sustainability were two further challenges that could not be changed from one day to the next but would need to go through the long process of continual improvement.” They said the irrigation standards have been devised to ensure these challenges are met.