The establishment of a farmers’ cooperative to support sustainable family farming
To protect the Evian watershed in the long term, Terragr’Eau sees the creation of a biodigester to process manure and the establishment of a farmers’ cooperative to support sustainable family farming.
The development of industrial agriculture comes with an increased risk of nitrate pollution. 60% of surface land over the Evian spring’s watershed is used for agriculture, but mineral water has to meet very strict quality standards for purity, composition, stability and nitrate levels. Adapting farming practices to respond to these risks requires major investment, which threatens the livelihoods of family farmers who can’t afford such expenditure. With the support of the Danone Ecosystem Fund, Evian, the Communauté de Communes du Pays d’Evian and SICA Terragr’Eau Methanisation, the Terragr’eau project is building a biodigester to turn cattle manure and organic waste from the municipalities into biogas for Evian city and organic compost for fertilising local land. A dedicated cooperative of farmers manage the compost spreading operation, which will reduce fertiliser costs and support sustainable agricultural development.
This project fosters the sustainability of local family farming. By monitoring the quality of drinking water, it also avoids the use of water purification treatments for rural communities and promotes local development. Evian builds awareness of the importance of nitrate management and water quality and promote rural livelihoods in the Evian watershed. The project promotes sustainable farming practices in the region and contributes to reducing nitrates in agriculture, protecting the long-term quality of water.
The project is now independent and has been handed over in 2018.