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8 May 2015

Ucilia Wang, Guardian (UK)

Companies comment on Ceres report findings

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"Food companies are unprepared for global water scarcity, says new report",

Kellogg’s chief sustainability officer, Diane Holdorf, praised the Ceres report for raising awareness about the challenges companies face and giving examples of practices worth emulating...Most of [ADM's] processing plants that use high volumes of water are in regions where local water resources are not stressed, [a spokesman] said in an email...[A] spokeswoman for Smithfield...emailed to say the company has already exceeded its 2015 goal of reducing water use by 10%, from 2008 levels, per 100 pounds of product produced, and plans to set new goals...Tyson spokesman Dan Fogleman wrote that the report didn’t take into account some of the new technologies the company been using to conserve and reuse water...He said the report also “mischaracterized” the company’s North American wastewater discharge as pollution...Some of the companies declined to comment on the report – such as Hormel Foods and Constellation Brands – or didn’t respond to requests for comments by press time, such as Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

Ceres also highlighted examples of strong water management policies. For example, Campbell Soup, Dean Foods, Molson Coors and Unilever offer executives financial incentives for achieving water management goals.  Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle and Unilever have deadline-driven goals to expand sustainable water management practices, which range from planting cover crops to reduce water runoffs and soil erosion to capturing and storing rainfall, across the majority of their suppliers. The report also recommends several things the industry can do to improve.