Increasing resilience to water-related risk in the UK fresh fruit & vegetable system.

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: School of Water, Energy and Environment

Abstract

The supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to the UK consumer is dependent on a secure supply of freshwater, both in the UK and in countries from which we import fresh produce. However, we grow these crops in the most water-scarce parts of the UK and import large volumes from water-scarce countries (such as Israel, Spain, South Africa and Egypt). This means that the fresh fruit and vegetable system is exposed to a range of "water-related risks", including drought and water scarcity, but also poor water quality, changing water regulations and risk to the reputation of retailers if seen to be "contributing to drought". Meanwhile, climate is changing; other demands for water (including the need to leave water in the environment to support the ecosystem) are increasing; and we are all being encouraged to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

By using case-studies in south and eastern England and South Africa, this project will explore how and where the system is exposed to water-related risk (both now and in the future). It will seek to develop ways in which people and organisations (including growers, retailers, consumers and policy makers) can change their methods of working to reduce the impact of these risks on the security of supply, without causing unwanted impacts on others in the system or the environment. That is, making the fresh fruit and vegetable system more "resilient" to water related risk. The project team involves experts in plant science, agriculture, environmental science, irrigation technologies, applied mathematics, sociology and water politics to ensure a broad view of the issue.

Technical Summary

This project aims to increase the resilience of the UK fresh fruit and vegetables (FF&V) system (from grower to consumer) to current, and future, water-related risks. It is based around two case-study regions - S&E England (domestic production) and S Africa (imported production) as these are both important producing areas; are exposed to significant water-related risks; but have very different socio-political contexts. There are 4 key research questions:

1. How, and where, is the FF&V system exposed to water-related risks and how may these change in the future? The integration of sourcing data with vulnerability will allow the development of a set of scenarios of the water-related risks to the system describing how interacting, uncertain stressors and drivers of change might develop, and the consequent vulnerability hotspots, now and in the future.

2. What does a water-resilient FF&V system look like at a societal level? We will conduct workshops in S & E England and S Africa to build system models that allow for the exploration of resilience from diverse perspectives, and that help identify trade-offs and opportunities.

3. Are measures to increase water efficiency complementary with increased resilience? We will critically review the relevant options for a) water saving b) increasing marketable yield and c) increasing water reliability through grower surveys to evaluate the impacts on system vulnerability and resilience.

4. How can the FF&V system work together to become more resilient to water-related risks in the future? Using the system models (2) and responses (3) we will explore how the UK FF&V system may respond to water-related disruptions? How do different interventions affect the resilience of different stakeholders, and what are the trade-offs? What "off-farm" (e.g. governance) strategies can be applied to cope with, or adapt to, increasing vulnerability?

Planned Impact

There are five groups of non-academic beneficiaries of this project:

1. Regional water resource managers and regulators in the UK (especially the EA, SEPA, NR Wales and water utilities) and overseas (e.g. SA Dept. for Water and Sanitation) will benefit from an improved understanding of the importance of FF&V production in their region; a rational framework for incorporating resilience into long-term water resource plans for agricultural water management. We have established relationships with those organisations, e.g., CU are presently working with the Water Resources East Anglia project to provide agricultural water demand forecasting capability for strategic water resource planning in E England. EMR is working with Southeast Water to deliver water efficient technologies into commercial soft and tree fruit production. CU is also a member of the UK Water Partnership. Else is a member of Kent County Council's Water Task Group.

2. Growers: The grower-base for the UK FF&V supply includes those businesses growing in the UK; (increasingly) UK businesses growing overseas, often in partnership with local businesses, to supply the UK market out-of-season; and overseas growers. These growers will benefit from increased awareness of the resilience and financial benefits and relevance of "improved" on-farm water management approaches to allow them to make informed strategies for water management in a changing environment. We have existing projects with many of the larger UK-based FF&V companies including those who also grow abroad. Since its inception CU have been leading members of the UK Irrigation Association and we will use its newsletters and events to widen our reach in the UK irrigated FF&V sector. Our relationship with AHDB will widen access the entire GB horticulture and potato grower-base.

3. UK retailers of FF&V and their suppliers (including small retailers as well as the large supermarkets) are increasingly concerned over water-related risks in their supply chains and threats to continuity of supply. They will benefit from a sector-wide view of resilience to reduce risk to supply and maintain their sustainability credentials in the face of increasing exposure to water-related risk. We have worked with the retail sector on water related activities as well as water-risk studies with leading supermarkets.

4. UK consumers of FF&V will benefit from a more secure supply of healthy, nutritious FF&V with reduced impact on global water resources. We envisage that via an enhanced quality assurance and stewardship programme, consumers will be better equipped with knowledge regarding sustainable food and nutrition choices.

5. Food / Water governance and policy makers. Government organisations with responsibility for shaping policy on food and natural resources will have a better understanding of the potential impact of policy decisions on food security and environmental impacts, both at home and overseas. We have a track-record of working with EA, WWF, Defra and DFID.

Academic impact: Our project will develop resilience theory using water-related risks in the fresh fruit and vegetable (FF&V) systems in both UK and South Africa as a case study. "Resilience" is an evolving concept in the context of food systems. It is useful in guiding practical response to environmental challenges but requires clarity of definition. Within such a system, different actors hold different values, aspirations, knowledge, expertise and beliefs about the actions required to achieve 'positive' outcomes. We believe that resilience emerges in unexpected ways when 'home production' in the northern hemisphere is complemented by international production from the southern hemisphere. There are trade-offs between actors, and coping and adaptation responses may produce unexpected, or counter-intuitive, impacts on system wide resilience.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have combined estimates of the UK's supply of fresh fruit and vegetables (1996 - 2015) with estimates of water requirements and water scarcity in producing countries, to identify where the supply is exposed to physical, regulatory and reputational water risks and how this has changed over time. Some 76% of the freshwater consumed in the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to the UK is withdrawn overseas. The supply chain is particularly exposed to water risks in Spain, Egypt, South Africa, Chile, Morocco, Israel and Peru. Exposure has increased over time.
Exploitation Route Retailers evaluating their value chain in order to manage water-related risks.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description Retailers have evaluated water-related risks in their fresh fruit and vegetable value chains.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Economic

 
Description "What do healthier diets mean for the water scarcity footprint of the UK fruit and veg system?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This article discussed water use in the production of the UK's fruit and vegetables, in the context of nationally low average current consumption levels, and with reference to the implications for water should potential health benefits as a drive increasing consumption in the future. The blog was viewed 204 times within two weeks and was liked 14 times from social media, and 4 times on the Cranfield website where it is hosted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://blogs.cranfield.ac.uk/category/water/
 
Description Article in Eurofruit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Report on fruit growers workshop in Stellenbosch, S Africa, published in Eurofruit entitled "South Africa considers water future"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.fruitnet.com/eurofruit/article/176050/south-africa-considers-water-future
 
Description Article in The Grocer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article by Chloe Sutcliffe in The Grocer on 'Water scarcity means there's no such thing as 'guilt-free' fruit & veg'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/home/topics/environment/water-scarcity-means-theres-no-such-thing-as-gui...
 
Description BBC 3 Counties Radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Tim Hess gave an interview with BBC Three Counties Radio on the impacts of the summer 2018 drought on farming in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06btkh4
 
Description BBC Farming Today interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Tim Hess gave an interview with BBC Farming Today on the impacts of the summer 2018 drought on farming in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBC Three Counties Radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview with BBC Three Counties Radio (17/01/2019) on the water impact of imported fresh fruit and vegetables.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06vxtt5
 
Description BBSRC GFS website blog post 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog post on BBRSC web site regarding the use of 'serious games' as a method of inquiry. Unpack a game, unpack the world? Exploring the future of South African fruit with game design.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/blog/unpack-a-game-unpack-the-world-exploring-the-future-of-south-afr...
 
Description Blog on "National water governance: A bigger deal than drought?" with application to South Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A blog written by Dr Sandile Hadebe and Mr Jon McCosh on 16th May 2018 from the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) in South Africa regarding water governance in that country.

The conclusion reads as:
Overall, fruit production in South Africa has shown remarkable resilience to the ongoing DWS governance failure, mainly through reorganized governance at localised levels. National water governance has far reaching consequences, not only on local production, but also on international relations and the resilience of fresh fruit food systems - South Africa is the second largest supplier of fresh fruits to the UK, for example, and accounts for 9% of fruit imports. The economic impact of losing that market share would be substantial. Our understanding is that improvements in DWS governance would not only improve national water security and resilience of fruit production to periodic droughts, and water quality risks, but also sustain access to critical export markets. This reminds us that the most important water threat may not be physical threats such as scarcity, quality or other weather related phenomenon, but how we govern water resources for sustainable and productive use - not just for South Africa, but the world at large.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.watersecuritynetwork.org/national-water-governance-a-bigger-deal-than-drought/
 
Description Expert group meeting at Aspen Global Change Institute (Colorado, USA) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop organized by the Aspen Global Change Institute and hosted at the Keystone Policy Center (USA) July 30 - August 3, 2018, entitled "Innovating global fruit and vegetable food systems to help bring sustainable nutrition security". The workshop aimed to identify challenges and opportunities for existing and future F&V food systems. Prioritize among the leverage points for change and knowledge gaps. Outline approaches (changes in the food system itself & research needs) to sustainably provide healthy, nutritious food to a growing, more urban world population, based on the principles of diversity, equity & inclusion. The output was a position paper on needed innovations in F&V food systems.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the gathered participants drafted the "Aspen/Keystone Declaration", which announces the formation of a new "Community of Practice," whose area of work is described in this position paper. The need for this work is based on a series of premises discussed in detail at the workshop and summarized herein. Increased intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is recommended for most populations across the globe. However, the current state of global and regional food systems is such that both F&V availability, the production required to sustain them, and consumer food choices are severely deficient to meet this need. Given the critical state of public health and nutrition worldwide, as well as the fragility of the ecological systems and resources on which they rely, there is a great need for research, investment, and innovation in F&V systems to nourish our global population. Here, we review the challenges that must be addressed in order to expand production and consumption of F&V sustainably and on a global scale. To surmount these challenges, opportunities are presented for growth and innovation in F&V systems. The paper is organized into five sections based on primary points of intervention in global F&V systems: (1) research and development, (2) policy agenda and investment, (3) production (farmers, farming practices, and supply), (4) consumption (availability, access, and demand), and (5) sustainable & equitable systems and supply chains.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.agci.org/lib/18s3/sustainable-and-equitable-increases-fruit-and-vegetable-productivity-a...
 
Description FAO-IPCC Expert Meeting on Climate Change, Land Use and Food Security 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact One hundred scientists, economists, and policy experts participated at this Expert Meeting to engage in a high level, globally oriented, forward-looking and multi-disciplinary scoping and discussion of the most critical issues facing land use and food security under climate change. The 3-day Expert Meeting was structured around a comprehensive review of the current knowledge and related issues that link climate change and land use and food systems. The Expert Meeting started with the review of the current scientific understanding of the impacts of climate on land and food systems, distinguishing clearly between climate-induced and human-directed drivers. The Expert Meeting then addresses the issues around mitigation and adaptation options for agriculture and other land use systems and the implications for food security both regarding synergies and trade-offs. Food security was addressed in broadest terms, going beyond food production, and covering the other dimensions as defined by FAO. The Expert Meeting also has a strong policy focus and discussed the role of socio-economic drivers and the inevitable trade-offs inherent among possible technical solutions required to meet the climate mitigation goals and safeguard food security.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Fruit Focus 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact NIAB EMR's research work in precision growing of soft fruit crops was showcased in the Water Efficient Technologies (WET) Centre during Fruit Focus 2017. The WET Centre was officially opened by the Rt Hon. George Eustice, Minister of State at DEFRA. Four formal tours were held throughout the day, and three interviews were given by NIAB EMR staff for local television.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Global Food Security research programme seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentations and discussions with policy makers from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Food Standards Agency, Public Health England, Department for International Development and Cabinet Office.
An engaging discussion took place after the presentations and a number of points were raised:
The importance of genuinely interdisciplinary research to help bring about new insights and change for all the actors in the food system - Government, industry, NGOs and citizens;
How the research programme can help inform future UK trade policy post-Brexit;
The opportunities that the programme team can provide for civil servants to engage in the programme, through individual projects, and with the coordination team to help shape the synthesis of research to inform future policy and practice;
The importance of engagement with departments interested in the global food system, e.g. DfID, FCO;
Raising awareness of dependence of UK fresh fruit and vegetable supply on water resources in dry countries; and
Finding ways for the programme to engage with the Department for Education to inform children and young people about food systems, and how this can shape future consumer behaviour.
This workshop was the first of what will become a regular pattern for dialogue with the UK Government over the next three years. The programme coordination team also as presented to the Scottish Government in November 2017, and plans to present to the Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Assembly in spring 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Industry visits to the WET Centre at NIAB EMR 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visitors to the WET Centre in 2017 included the Berry Gardens Grower Research Awards Panel, Kent County Council, members of the SAI platform, and the Ferdonana project team. NIAB EMR's research on linking scientific knowledge of plant and crop physiology with innovative technologies to improve the precision, resource use efficiency and productivity of UK soft fruit production was presented and discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Juice Summit 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation on water risks in fresh fruit supply chains to professionals in the soft drink sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.juicesummit.org/
 
Description Letaba Workshop for Resilience Games Design, June 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The objectives of the workshop were to give farmers, representatives and buyers within the fruit industry and those with interests in water resources, an opportunity to explore recent experiences and future scenarios via creative designing of games related to changing water scarcity, irrigation management and catchment resilience.

The workshop also acted as a capacity development activity, through which stakeholders could gain a deeper, systemic understanding of the Fresh Fruit Sector, be able to articulate desirable future visions for the sector, and consider future uncertainties. In addition, stakeholders were afforded an opportunity to connect and collaborate with other actors.

The keynote address was given by Prof Wiehann Steyn. Prof Steyn is the programme manager for crop production at Hortgro Science in the Western Cape. He leads research and development for pome and stone fruit production, with irrigation and water use efficiency as a key focus. Prof Steyn's presentation focused on "Coping with Drought" and included four key sections: "the lay of the land", "the bottom of the barrel", "surviving the drought and harnessing opportunities" and "lessons learned and what HortGro is doing". In his introduction "lay of the land", Prof Steyn put the Western Cape in context providing details on its rainfall, water sources and supply system.

The workhop then went on to the games design section where groups brainstormed games that explore fruit and water resilience. Participants were highly engaged and there was much interesting discussion. A few participants were quiet during the plenary sessions, but these people participated well during the group work.

Participants recognised the value of using game design to reflect reality and as a problem solving technique. Several participants also reflected on teamwork within the groups and the use of the game to reach a common goal. The majority of participants enjoyed the day but many highlighted the need for government participation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Meeting with UK DTI and Western Cape Government (South Africa) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (London) with Western Cape Government, including Alan Winde (Minister of Economic Opportunities) and Andrew Selous MP (UK Trade Envoy to S Africa) to discuss mitigating the impact of drought on the S Africa fresh fruit sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Organisation of and presentation at a workshop at the 2018 World Water Week, Stockholm "Efficiency, sufficiency, sustainability: allocation in river basins" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conveners of the event were:
• IUCN Water Programme, Switzerland
• WWF International
• University of East Anglia, UK
• Cranfield University, UK
• Institute of Natural Resources, South Africa
• FAO Regional Office for Asia Pacific

The workshop responded to the interpretation that water (re)allocation is a serious water policy challenge; how to prioritise different river basin benefits and functions given increasing competition for limited water resources. River basins hosting large irrigation systems are at risk from patterns of water consumption affecting the hidden, inflexible and often informal allocation of water from agriculture to other sectors including ecosystems. Such basins are particularly difficult to manage in terms of equitable and transparent water allocation with hydrological and geographical factors and legacy infrastructure and institutions favouring a form of lock-in. Flaws in water allocation become particularly exposed during drought periods when ecosystems are requires to absorb the shock. Private sector interests regarding irrigation must also be better informed of broader basin water challenges, and contribute to sustainable water resources management. Our FF&V project was ideally placed to contribute to this debate.

Using a series of rapid-fire presentations and audience interaction to develop key recommendations, this seminar examined how we can better understand the dynamic of water allocation in river basins from the perspectives of efficiency, productivity, sufficiency, sustainability and resilience. It identified key lessons from public and private stakeholders and research findings to better place efficiency and resilience within the context of sufficient water for commercial and public sector needs, as well as the need for downstream flows for environmental and other social needs. Building on recent research, the event considered the role of irrigation as a key water resource management challenge that needs better positioning within the broader ecosystem flow and water management policy debates. A considerable debate followed the presentations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.siwi.org/publications/world-water-week-programme-2018/
 
Description Presentation to MSc students - Water risks to the UK fruit and veg supply 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture given to 5 students on the module, "Water and Sustainable Agrifood". The findings of the project were reported to the students and they were shown techniques for accessing trade and production data and calculating water use in production and water scarcity footprints.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to MSc students - Water scarcity and food security 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The presentation was used to discuss the project and findings thus far and to get students to think critically about the water that is used to produce their food, and discuss strategies and policies for increasing consumer awareness of the impacts of their fruit and vegetable consumption patterns on water scarcity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Project Presentation to the Food Standards Agency 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Approximately 50 members of the Food Standards agency attended a presentation of the project at hand. The presentation encouraged a series of questions and discussion about how food systems research, risk and resilience play out in their context. Further, the project gained interest from FSA members to the extent that they would like to be involved in the project's inquiry going forward. The FSA members represented various expert areas from within the social and natural sciences, as well as national, and international contexts regarding food safety and food quality.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Serious game presentation and testing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A prototype serious game being designed as part of the project was presented and tested with participants as part of a serious games session at the European Geophysical Union conference in Vienna. Around 20 people engaged actively with the game, as well as others who watched, and this led to interest in the project and extremely useful feedback for improving the game.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Short blog asking "How is scarce water in South Africa really allocated and what are the implications for catchment resilience and fruit production?" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Blog published 6th Nov 2018 By Bruce Lankford (University of East Anglia), and Jon McCosh, Mlungisi Shabalala and Lutendo Mugwedi (Institute of Natural Resources)

In this piece we argued that; 1) an absence of purposive managed water allocation can be observed in some South African catchments; and 2) within this absence, individual actors can gain and shore up their own allocations; 3) with the result that, on the surface, commercial fruit growers look to be resilient and efficient, but wider longer-term catchment production and ecosystems resilience, especially during prolonged drought, is at risk; and finally, 4) water governance within South Africa needs to be pursued more rigorously in order to effect efficient, flexible and equitable water allocation in both drought and non-drought times.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.watersecuritynetwork.org/how-is-scarce-water-in-south-africa-really-allocated-and-what-ar...
 
Description Stakeholder Workshop - Increasing Resilience to Water Related Risk in the UK Fresh Fruit and Vegetable System 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop brought together 20 representatives from across the UK fresh fruit and vegetable system to participate in a collaborative strategy development exercise for identifying and working with future uncertainties surrounding the the fresh fruit and vegetable system. The workshop participants included representatives from across industry, farming, policy, water and environmental services, consumers, and research. The activities of the workshop stimulated cross sector interactions and discussions regarding the content of systemic interventions for an industry resilient to water-related risks. The outputs from the workshop activities, namely notes, diagrams, actor and system maps will contribute to the development of a report to be disseminated among the participants and contributing parties highlighting the mutual learning from the event as well as feed into a serious game for future collaboration and decision making around water-related risks across a broad set of system stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The global avocado crisis adn the question of supply system resilience 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This blog piece used the recent surge in prices for avocados to look at the question of how water shortages (amongst other factors), may lead to scarcity on the global market and drive high prices in food imports, and used this discussion to introduce the project. The article was viewed 319 times.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://blogs.cranfield.ac.uk/category/water/
 
Description UK-Israel Conference on Climate Change 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on The water scarcity footprint of the UK fresh fruit and vegetable supply at UK-Israel Conference on Climate Change organised by British Council in Tel Aviv. 2 - 4 October.

The UK supply of fresh fruit and vegetables (including potatoes) (FF&V) is equivalent to 179 kg per person per year. 97% of the potatoes are grown in the UK, but, 45% of the other vegetables, and 90% of the fruit are imported. Large-scale commercial FF&V production tends to be concentrated in locations that have low rainfall and therefore rely heavily on irrigation to achieve high, reliable yields of high quality F&V. Consequently, we estimate that production of FF&V for the UK, consumes ~560 million m3 of freshwater each year, 74% of which is consumed outside of the UK, often in water scarce locations.

98% of the F&V supplied to the UKis grown in countries of above global-average water scarcity and 21% is sourced from countries with more than 10 times global-average water scarcity. Therefore, there is a risk that the available water resources may be insufficient to meet the year-round needs of all sectors, leading to a risk of over-exploitation of surface and ground water resources, reduced water availability to vulnerable sectors (especially the environment) and resource degradation (e.g. groundwater depletion and salinization).

Reliance on stressed water resources increases the vulnerability of the supply of FF&V to the UK to water shortages during drought. Many of the major FF&V producing regions that supply the UK have seen recent significant droughts (e.g. California, Spain, Israel, South Africa) are projected to see increased risk of drought in the future.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Water security network blog post 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Blog post on water scarcity in South Africa "How is scarce water in South Africa really allocated and what are the implications for catchment resilience and fruit production?"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.watersecuritynetwork.org/how-is-scarce-water-in-south-africa-really-allocated-and-what-ar...
 
Description Western Cape growers workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact South Africa is a major exporter of fruit to the world. In particular, it plays an important role in sustaining nutritious and healthy diets in the United Kingdom (UK). In turn, the UK plays an important role as a market for fruit from South Africa. The Limpopo Province and the Western Cape Province, among others, are important regions locally in the production and export of fresh fruit. At the same time, the fruit sector is sensitive to water-related stresses, as evidenced by the recent and past droughts experienced in the region.

The workshop formed part of a research project, being led by Cranfield University (UK), with University of East Anglia (UK), University of Oxford (UK) and East Malling Research (UK) in partnership with with the Institute of Natural Resources (South Africa). Part of this research is being conducted with growers and other stakeholders in the Western Cape and the Groot Letaba catchment (Tzaneen and Letsitele, in particular) to better understand the resilience of South African fruit production to water-related risks.

The objectives of the workshop were to give growers, representatives and buyers within the fruit industry and those with interests in water resources, an opportunity to explore recent experiences and future scenarios related to changing water scarcity, irrigation management and catchment resilience. The workshop also acted as a capacity development activity, through which stakeholders could gain a deeper, systemic understanding of the Fresh Fruit Sector, be able to articulate desirable future visions for the sector, and consider future uncertainties.

Approximately 90 delegates attended the workshop including one representative from Worldwide Fruit and five project team members. The delegates represented commercial growers, pack-houses, agronomists, industry associations, customers (including Sainsbury's, Woolworths and M&S) and government agencies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018