SPRING - Sustainable Program for Irrigation and Groundwater Use

70% of the world’s freshwater resources are used for agriculture.  As pressure on this limited resource grows, agricultural supply chains will depend on a sustainable approach to water management.  As a result, food system stakeholders are now expected to provide evidence documenting their efforts to manage water risks and promote sustainable practices.

SPRING is a farm-level add-on which helps producers, retailers, and traders demonstrate their commitment to sustainable water management and can be implemented together with the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standard for Crops. SPRING incorporates a wide range of criteria to assess sustainable water management on the farm. These include:

  • Legal conformity of water sources and extraction rates
  • Monitoring of water consumption
  • Impact of producers on sustainable watershed management
  • Best practices in water management
  • Protection of water sources
  • Measures to demonstrate continuous improvement of water management

Producers who successfully implement the SPRING add-on receive a certificate of conformity, which is also visible in the GLOBALG.A.P. database. Authorized supply chain stakeholders can also access the full audit report as a "SPRING observer" via the GLOBALG.A.P. database.

The SPRING add-on was originally developed by the Swiss retailer Coop in 2016 in collaboration with GLOBALG.A.P. The ownership of the standard was officially transferred to GLOBALG.A.P. in July 2019