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Water 350

Water is a precious natural resource. It is crucial that we protect and use it in a sustainable manner. Global water consumption is increasing, and water scarcity has become a serious problem worldwide. The world’s largest consumer of water is agriculture. Consequently, agriculture, and organic agriculture, in particular, has a special responsibility to use water resources carefully.

Naturland farms situated in regions with water scarcity are obliged to fulfil additional requirements (see Naturland Standards B.I.7, Naturland-Standards-on-Production.pdf). Naturland farms situated in regions with water scarcity are obliged to fulfil additional requirements (see Naturland Standards B.I.7, Naturland-Standards-on-Production.pdf).

The core of these additional requirements is the water management plan (WMP). Please note that this applies only to farms with irrigation, not to farms that practice only rain-fed agriculture.


Tailored water management

The two associations Naturland and Bio Suisse have both developed their own standards for sustainable water use. Both associations have also been cooperating regarding water management during the last years. As a result of this cooperation, the standards on water management of both associations have been adapted and will also continue to be updated in the future.
One major adaption is that today both associations use the aqueduct water risk filter with the indicator „water depletion“, as a reference to classify farms with scarce water resources (see The WMP itself also has been revised and updated. From 2021, both associations use the same WMP along with the corresponding Excel spreadsheet for quantitative water use. This is, above all, in the interest of farms that are certified to both the Bio Suisse and the Naturland standards because in the future these farms need to complete only one WMP.


Even though both associations now use the same WMP, Naturland and Bio Suisse currently still apply different procedures regarding the evaluation and certification of the WMP. However, the aim of the cooperation is mutual recognition with regard to water management and we are optimistic that this will be implemented from 2023.


Current Naturland procedure

If your farm is in a region with scarce water resources, Naturland will contact you soon and provide you with information about the water management plan and the additional requirements. Please complete the enclosed WMP together with the Excel spreadsheet for quantitative data and the data release declaration in full and send these documents to your contact in the International Department, by 31st May 2021, at the latest. You will receive the results of the evaluation along with the next certification letter issued by the Naturland certification committee. Please also show the completed WMP along with the Excel spreadsheet during the next Naturland inspection.
The WMP and the corresponding Excel spreadsheet only need to be submitted to Naturland in the first year and then every three years thereafter. However, the Excel spreadsheet must be updated regularly.


By end of May, you will receive a guide for sustainable water management from us where the correct completion of WMP and Excel spreadsheet is explained in detail.


If you have any questions regarding the new water management plan, feel free to contact the international department of Naturland or get more information here.


All relevant documents:

file ico Guidance for sustainable water management (PDF, 3,44 MB)

file ico Data release consent form (PDF, 120 KB)

file ico Water Management Plan (PDF, 193 KB)

Excel spreadsheet WMP (please get in touch with your Naturland contact person)