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Olam SVI Onion plant

Embracing international standards in California

Trialling the AWS Standard in California

As part of the ongoing challenge to tackle drought in California, Olam SVI advanced their water stewardship efforts via a pilot implementation of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard. In partnership with WWF and Ecolab, Olam SVI spent the winter of 2014 piloting the Standard at their onion dehydration plant in Firebaugh, California.

Using an in-depth facility tour as a foundation, the cross-industry group explored water use, water stewardship, and its importance within Olam SVI’s operations. The following 2 months were spent gathering internal water use data, larger watershed status information, and gaining a greater appreciation for water stewardship efforts in the context of the Central Valley.

Using the WWF Water Risk Filter, Ecolab’s Water Monitizer Tool, as well as inner company risk assessments, Olam SVI analysed the collected data in order to better comprehend the water risks facing the food processing industry. As the first food processor in the USA to pilot the Standard, the process animated a stronger understanding of the shared water challenges of the local community as well as Olam SVI’s own internal water management strengths and weaknesses. In 2015, Olam SVI continued their commitment by developing an over-arching Olam SVI water stewardship policy for all manufacturing facilities in California.

Read how we are implementing the AWS Standard in Tanzania.

Next section: Improving wastewater quality