Si - that would be a delicious spanish strawberry. Nothing quite like the sunshine of southern Spain for creating great tasting strawberries (not to mention eating tapas, drinking sangria, flamenco dancing...)
However, the copious hours of sunshine are not matched by the availability of water - and in this region there are many different activities and things that require a lot of water - such as agriculture, domestic use and important wetland ecosystems such as the Donana National Park.
We have teamed up with our supplier, Cordoba and Cranfield universities, Unilever and WWF to work with our strawberry farmers to measure exactly how much water is being used to grow our strawberries and find ways to improve water efficiency. Our goal is to establish how everybody and everything who uses the water can get what they need with no one missing out.
As we are now just over half way through the season, Jess, Rozanne and John went down to Spain to visit our farmers and the project team and find out how things are going. We are already seeing that there are some big differences in the amount of water used by each farm - not just because of how each farmer runs their farm but also because of the different soils, strawberry varieties, irrigation equipment and the growing method. The final report with the complete water footprint for each farm is due in July and then we can work out whether it is possible to improve the water efficiencies of all our farms.
We also took the project team into the Donana National Park to learn more about this important wetlands. Over 6 million migratory birds stop off at this wetlands during their migration between Africa and Northern Europe, and we were lucky enough to see quite a few of them.
For now though it is back to the sunshine of London, Pimms rather than sangria. We'll keep you posted on how this project is going - and some advice from John - don't eat 2 boxes of strawberries in one go no matter how good they taste...