Most people these days are used to thinking about the “carbon footprint” of consumer goods, and know about the concept of “food miles”. But have you ever thought about the “virtual water content” of your food?
I hadn’t, so found this story in New Zealand Farmers Weekly quite fascinating. Apparently, about 6.5 litres of water is consumed to grow one braeburn apple (my favourite!) in New Zealand. That sounded like quite a lot to me, but it is apparently only one tenth the amount of water that goes into Californian apples.
The article suggests that the environmentally-aware consumers of the future will increasingly take virtual water content into account as they make their purchasing decisions, in the face of growing pressure on global water resources.
It rather cheekily suggests that New Zealand apples could be marketed in drought-prone Australia with the slogan “Save your rivers, eat a New Zealand apple”.
What do you think? Is low virtual water content a potential brand advantage for New Zealand? Anyone out there already taking water content into account in their food decisions?