We strive to use water efficiently. Various operational practices are implemented to conserve and reduce the use of water. Our melon farms utilize plastic mulch and drip irrigation methods, which reduce water use. Where appropriate and safe for food production, some of our production sites have initiated water recycling and reuse projects. These projects include among others, rainwater harvesting for use in facility sanitation, irrigation and other farming activities.
At our banana farms in the Philippines, rainwater is collected and used in various farm operations. Some of the collected rainwater, for example, is used for showers for employees handling plant protection products. Collected rainwater in this Philippine operation is estimated at 296,000 cubic meters per year.
A rainwater harvesting pilot project has been established in Costa Rica. The collected rainwater is recycled and used for banana spraying operations.
Our fresh cut operation in Dubai performs in-house water recycling using a multimedia filtration unit and an ultra-filtration unit. The treated recycled water is used in operations for garden irrigation and toilets.
Hydrometers to Monitor Water Usage
Water meters are installed along the main water pipe lines at banana and pineapple farms to monitor and quantify water use during irrigation. By using rainfall and evaporation data, monitoring the water content in soil and determining the plant water requirement, we are able to use water efficiently for irrigation purposes.
Drip irrigation systems are used in our melon farms in Costa Rica, Arizona and Guatemala. In Chile, ninety percent of the farms also are drip irrigated.
Use of Plastic Mulch
Plastic mulch in melon operations in Guatemala and Arizona minimizes evaporation by trapping moisture in the soil.