Beverage manufacturer Vitasoy has partnered with Mulloon Institute to help growers use rainfall better and help ease water shortages. The company has has pledged $1.25 million over the next five years to help rehydrate Australian catchments, potentially restoring thousands of hectares of land.
While last year was the Australia’s wettest year since 2016, the storms offered a minimal reprieve for farmers. Research shows that up to half of rainfall on farmland is lost to evaporation and runoff.
The Mulloon Institute – a non-profit research, education, and advocacy organisation – aims to challenge the misconception that lands just need “steady, soaking rain” and help rebuild natural water reserves, one farm at a time.
The organisation works to resolve one of the pressing problems in agriculture, such as rain runoff, by restoring and hydrating landscapes, making them up to five times more absorbent.
The rehydration projects have helped slow down water flow, minimise runoff, increase soil carbon, and create more biodiverse landscapes. In addition, it increased rainfall capture, providing an additional 10 billion litres of water in a 1000ha catchment – equivalent to adding 4000 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water to the landscape.
Vitasoy says it is committed to helping reduce the environmental footprint of its operations and supporting shifts to sustainable agriculture by partnering with organisations such as the Mulloon Institute, and it hopes to encourage other food companies to make similar pledges to futureproof Australian farms.