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What is it and what are the main aims?

The Courtauld 2023 Commitment (C2030) is a voluntary agreement that enables collaborative action across the entire UK food chain to deliver farm-to-fork reductions in food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and water stress that will help the UK food and drink sector achieve global environmental goals.

C2030 has the following target for water:

‘As well as businesses continuing to increase water use efficiency in their own operations, our combined objective is that, by 2030, the UK food & drink industry will have helped to achieve sustainable water management to improve the quality and availability of water at catchment scale in the top 20 most important product & ingredient sourcing areas in the UK and overseas.

With an overall target by 2030 that: 50% of fresh food is sourced from areas with sustainable water management.’

The Rivers Trust, via its CaBA Water Stewardship service, is helping UK businesses to meet the collective action target by working with producers, growers and processors, in a number of pilot catchment areas, to positively influence their impact on water throughout the supply chain.

Where is it being delivered?

The Broadland Rivers and Cam and Ely Ouse (CamEO) catchments in East Anglia are two of six pilot areas across the UK that have been selected to deliver collective action. These actions will address key issues that have been identified in the Broadland Rivers and CamEO catchment partnership plans.

Who’s involved?

The C2030 Commitment has the support of major UK retailers, food and drink manufacturers and brands, water companies, businesses from within the hospitality and food service sector and trade bodies. It is also open to any business that has a footprint in the selected areas.

For the Broadland Rivers and CamEO projects, these include: Anglian Water, Coca-Cola GB, the Co-op, M&S, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, with others set to join in the future.


How will it work?

The project aims to build on existing best practices and initiatives and encourage greater collaboration across the catchments in order to address the common issues around water.

As such, the project will build on the success of the existing ‘Water Sensitive Farming‘ initiative (WSF), which provides independent farm support and advice to deliver bespoke and practical on-farm measures that improve the quality and resilience of the surrounding water environment.

Funded through the WWF and Coca-Cola Freshwater Partnership since 2012, and with further targeted support from Tesco and Asda, WSF is already active within both the target catchments. It is therefore well placed to be the key delivery mechanism for achieving the aims of C2030, and will continue to upscale and encourage more businesses and land managers to get involved.

WSF is directly collaborating and working with both the Broadland Rivers and CamEO catchment partnerships, where strong and effective relationships have already been developed with important stakeholders within the supply chain.

The Initiative has also been aligned with ‘Riverlands‘, a National Trust Project that aims to improve water quality and habitats along the River Bure. Water Sensitive Farming will provide the on-farm soil and water advice in the Bure Catchment (part of the wider Broadland Rivers Catchment).

What’s happened so far?

January 2021

Working in partnership with Cranswick PLC, a project has been underway to assess rotational cropping options which will assist in locking in nutrients from outdoor pigs and significantly reduce sediment loss, thereby addressing soil health and water quality issues. The project also looks at existing management measures such as cover crops, buffer strips and sediment traps. A guide ‘Best Practice Techniques for Improving Soil Stability and Sustainability Under Pigs‘ has been produced to share the project outcomes and advice.

September 2020

Working in partnership with Branston Ltd., a ‘Potato Growing Best Practice Guide‘ has been published.

October 2019 – November 2020 work delivery: Reducing diffuse pollution in the Broadland Rivers Catchment

Funded by Asda. View the case study.

19th March 2019: Broadland Rivers and CamEO Courtauld 2025 Kick-off Workshop

Read the full report here.

September 2018: Improving water quality on the Elveden Estate by using silt traps

Funded by Asda. Click on the image below to view the project.

October 2018: Reducing sediment input at Broomscot Common, Norfolk

Funded by Asda. Click on the image below to view the project.

Catchment mapping – identifying risks and opportunities **To be updated soon**

Follow the links below to view mapping for a particular catchment, including Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and SciMap (a mapping model that can be used to work out where to prioritise activities that protect the water environment).

Best practice guidance and grant/funding opportunities

A collection of best practice advice can be found in one place by clicking here.

View the full list of current grant and funding opportunities here.

Would you like to get involved?

We actively invite other retailers and stakeholders to engage in this Commitment. Click here for more information on joining, or contact Alex Adam at The Rivers Trust: [email protected]

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