Frecuently Asked Questions about Ferdonaña

What is SAI Platform?

SAI Platform is only Global, multi stakeholder organisation for sustainable agriculture. With over 100 members including leading brands and retailers, SAI develops tools, guidance and projects for the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities. SAI supports implementation of secure and thriving agricultural supply chains and protect the earth’s resources through widespread adoption of sustainable practices that deliver value to our members, farmers, farming communities, and consumers.  You can find out more at

Who are the sponsors of this project?

The (9) sponsors are all members of SAI platform and customers of berries from the Doñana region. Some are Brands, some are retailers, but all share the SAI vision of sustainable agriculture. Together they represent over 20% of total customer demand across Europe. Sponsors are: Tesco, COOP, Migros, M&S, Innocent Drinks, SVZ, Danone, Berryworld and Iberfruta.

Why are they doing it?

Sponsors want to work together for the common aim of securing the future of both berry production and the Doñana environment. They also know their consumers want to be sure that both they and their suppliers and farmers are sustainable, responsible and doing the right thing for water and the environment.

What do they hope to achieve?

They hope to reduce water consumption by water efficiency training and other complementary solutions in order to arrive at a long term sustainable level of aquifer withdrawals.

What incentives do they offer?

They are paying the full cost of the management and content of the project. They know that financial and benefits directly for farmers will come from reducing water, fertiliser and other costs, plus optimising yield and reducing crop risk.

How do they know it will work?

Through working together they have been able to identify and share research and existing examples where significant reductions in water use have been made, and identified good practices which can enable others also to arrive at optimal water use.

As a farmer why should I join?

Simply because you can ensure you are optimised and efficient and profitable. It is also a great way to show your customers that you are using sustainable practices and thereby differentiate yourself. You will also know you are doing your best to secure your future and that of Doñana.

What am I expected to do?

After visiting the web site or receiving an invitation, you should complete an application.  The program itself will include 6 training sessions, a field assessment, and fields visits.

To evaluate the impact of the project, we invite the participants to put a in one of their plots. The cost of the device will be covered by the project.

The project expects you to attend the 6 training sessions, field workshops and on-farm visits.
In addition, to evaluate the impact of the project, we invite the participants to put a water meter in one of their plots.

The most important thing for us is that you can exchange knowledge and experiences with other farmers and technicians about cultivation, and you have an open and receptive attitude about what you hear there.

And that everything you learn during the project is useful and interesting.

How much time will it take?

The training sessions, assessments and field visits will need about 30 hours attendance during the crop cycle from October to March.

What happens if I can not attend all the sessions?

We hope you can attend at least 80% of the sessions. For the rest there is the possibility of viewing the recorded content online through the project website, and then filling out a small questionnaire on the content and degree of satisfaction.

Are there any costs?

No, the project is free. You may have to contribute a small contribution to the water meter, sending data and software for help in irrigation programming. This water meter will be your property and you will be able to keep it and use it once the project is finished. Normally the cost of this type of water meters with associated software is around 450 euros, but the project will support most of this cost.

What happens if I already have a water meter installed on my farm?

There is a possibility that the water meter you have on your farm can be reused for the project, for this we need to meet a number of requirements. The
The purpose of this water meter will be to record the water consumption applied to a crop and specific sector that allows us to always compare the data confidentially. Therefore it will have to be a water meter installed in a specific sector. It must have a remote data sending system and the data you send can be connected to the project database.

Why will the water meters be installed in a specific sector?

With the installation of the water meters at these points we intend to extract useful information on the efficiency of controlled irrigation applications for a given crop / variety and soil type. With this data, we and you, can compare, over the duration of the project, the amount of water applied to the crop, patterns and trends in consumption, as well as production vs. consumption data.

Can I invite friends, family and neighbours?

Yes but be aware that places are limited.  You should refer them to the website, and they apply and can register there.

Will the cooperative / business technicians be able to attend the training?

The training is mainly aimed at helping farmers with the efficient use of water, fertilizers, operating costs and yields. The technicians will also be offered a series of specific training and exchange sessions. You are always welcome to join the field visits and assessments, both to support and to benefit from the project.