Nestlé Waters and Agrivair celebrate 20 years of community partnership to protect water sources in Vittel, Contrex and Hepar in France.
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About AGRIVAIR : A protected site to better preserve water quality
An exemplary model
In the heart of the Vosges plain, Nestlé Waters France carefully watches over the quality of Vittel, Contrex and Hépar natural mineral water. Towards the end of the 1980s, the protection of springs and respect for the land around them became a priority for the company. To achieve this, a system for protection was thought up and a team of experts studied how to accommodate this system with the requirements of local economic development.
It was in this context that Nestlé Waters France set up the Agrivair consulting firm in 1992. Its main objective was to anticipate and avoid any potential risk of deterioration in the original quality and purity of the Vittel, Contrex and Hépar natural mineral waters.
Agriculture that is respectful towards the soils and subsoils
Nestlé Waters France has worked in collaboration with farmers to set up alternative agricultural practices coupled with a policy of renouncing the use of phytosanitary products with a view to sustainable change.
Thus, in the Contrexéville and Vittel region, crop rotation will follow a nine year cycle. This cycle will consist of alfalfa, winter cereals and meadows in rotation. Farmers no longer use pesticides and the cattle population is limited to one per hectare without reducing milk production.
A partnership with all players
This approach now extends beyond the sphere of agriculture and includes all players whose activities may have an impact on soils and sub-soils.
Today, Agrivair participates in projects that involve setting up green product collection programs, creating a platform for collective composting, replacing oil tanks buried in the ground by gas installations at private homes in partnership with Gaz de France, forest management with Office Nationale des Forêts, maintenance and upkeep of spas and golf courses with the cities and operators, developing a thermal weeding technique for tracks, parking lots and railroads.
Today, in the 10,000 hectares within Agrivair’s scope of action, 90% of the Contrex catchment basin(*) and 95% of the Vittel catchment basin benefit from environmental protection.
Today, Agrivair is a unique and exemplary model. Its success lies mainly in its collegial approach which has helped to reconcile local economical development with durable water resources by bringing together farmers, industrialists, local groups, residents, SNCF, horticulturalists, landscape designers and green space managers.
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