Agriculture Partnerships

Alliance for Water Stewardship / Priority Sectors / Agriculture Partnerships


Agricultural supply chains involve many different actors, from smallholder farmers to international agribusinesses.

But it isn’t just producers that are important in the supply chain: there are also investors, development banks, retailers and producers who all play their part in encouraging sustainability alongside NGOs, the public sector and other service providers.

Whilst each stakeholder has a different perspective, one thing is clear: leaders in this sector recognise the importance of collaboration when it comes to water.

EDEKA and WWF Germany

EDEKA and WWF Germany have partnered with AWS since 2016, with two main aims:

  • To help EDEKA’s suppliers in high water risk locations to implement water stewardship
  • To demonstrate leadership and encourage other retailers and their suppliers to also take action

Supplier engagement

EDEKA has used the WWF Water Risk Filter to assess water risks in its supply chain. Once clusters of suppliers in high water risk locations are identified, they are encouraged to implement water stewardship as part of their response. In our partnership, this is supported through AWS Standard System Training, to help suppliers understand water stewardship as the ‘next step’ after water management and provide them with some of the skills they need to implement the AWS Standard.

Together, EDEKA and WWF Germany paved the way for some of the early uses of the AWS Standard in the agriculture sector. You can find out more about this work in our case studies from Colombia and Spain.

Knowledge and peer support

We know that no one business can tackle water risks alone, and the interconnectedness of supply chains means that producers often face competing requests from different clients. AWS, EDEKA and WWF Germany share our experiences and provide knowledge and peer support to others working in agricultural supply chains, to help make water stewardship more accessible to all. This is enabling us to scale our approach in important sourcing locations around the world, and we encourage others to join us in our global agriculture working group.


Finance and investment

In 2019, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) and NEDERLANDSE FINANCIERINGS-MAATSCHAPPIJ VOOR ONTWIKKELINGSLANDEN N.V. (FMO) (the German and Dutch development finance institutions – DFI) joined forces with AWS, EDEKA and WWF Germany to help scale this approach in Latin America. DEG and FMO both invest in agricultural producers throughout the region, and they recognise that water poses a risk to those investments. So, they want to increase water stewardship capacity to enable producers to respond.

Together, we are building a network of water stewards throughout Europe and Latin America, who recognise the value of aligning around a common, independent approach to doing water stewardship at a site and catchment level.

Though the identification of high water risk sourcing clusters, AWS Standard System Training, the creation of knowledge products such as case studies and good practice guides, and local and global networks to enable collaboration, we aim to ensure that AWS becomes accessible to all who need it.


An important aspect of our work includes collaborating with others in this sector, which has led to the creation of our global agriculture working group. In addition, the partners identified that communicating the connection between the GLOBALG.A.P. standard and AWS would help increase uptake. So, AWS has developed an ‘AWS filter’ for the GLOBALG.A.P. standard, which enables farms who are already GLOBALG.A.P. (or Spring) certified, to see which AWS criteria and indicators they might already meet, or partially meet, through their current activities.

Where more work is needed to move from management to stewardship, the filter provides guidance for GLOBALG.A.P. farms to help them understand the AWS requirements in relation to their GLOBALG.A.P. efforts. This tool will enable farms in high water risk locations to build on their existing water management practices encouraged through the GLOBALG.A.P. system to take the next step into water stewardship. The tool is currently being piloted by EDEKA’s suppliers in Latin America and learning from this experience will be shared with others once the tool is launched publicly.





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