The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX, Asociación de Exportadores de Frutas de Chile, A.G.) and the Chilean Hass Avocado Committee (Comité de Paltas Hass de Chile) underwent the first-ever SPRING Growers  trainings in October.

SPRING (Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use) provides certification in sustainable irrigation practices.

Swiss company and sustainability leader Coop designed the program, which is now available as a GLOBALG.A.P. add-on.

A world first

The Chilean Fruit Development Foundation (FDF, Fundación para el Desarrollo Frutícola) coordinated these first rounds of SPRING training. The course was presented in Chile on 15-16 October 2019.

“These courses were the first to be completed anywhere in the world for this training protocol” said Ricardo Adonis, Development Manager for FDF. “We are proud that the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association has once again decisively shown that Chilean fruit growers and exporters are committed to setting the highest sustainability standards in their operations.”

He added that the training allows participants to “continue optimizing water use at the field level and to provide evidence through international protocols.”

Stellar rollout

“We were very satisfied with how this experience went – the first anywhere in the world” said Adonis. “The attendees thought that the information was presented well and was easy to understand and put into practice in the field.”

The courses were taught by Alejandra Pistagnesi, GLOBALG.A.P.’s Technical Key Account Manager for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

The program was limited to 20 participants for the launch. Avocado growers in the Chilean Hass Avocado Committee took the training on the first day and ASOEX partners the second.

“We gave this first SPRING training for growers who are anxious to show that they manage water correctly.”, said Pistagnesi. “Also, this course is in response to a global trend in which consumers are demanding that producers show that they use resources sustainably”, she explained. “ They must ensure that these resources will be available for future generations.”

What is SPRING all about?

SPRING provides comprehensive certification in smart water resource use.

Pistagnesi explains: “Topics range from using water legally, by complying with permits and extraction limits, to risk-evaluation to avoid contaminating the resource. Also, the aim is to set goals to make continuous improvements that are verifiable and measurable.”

“Furthermore”, she said, “[the program] seeks to involve the interested parties, the authorities, and communities. In general, SPRING addresses everything related to water management in the field.”

A logical next step

“Most participants are producers who are already GLOBALG.A.P. certified, making it easier to get this add-on” explained Pistagnesi. “This is a new tool that allows growers to show that they are operating sustainably”, she said. “We trust it will serve them well.”

What about you?

You already strive to use water sustainably…now you can prove it to the world with the SPRING add-on.

Click here to learn how you can produce your irrigated crops more sustainably with the SPRING add-on.