May 23, 2013

Netafim Wins 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award

Netafim, the pioneer and global leader in drip and micro-irrigation technology and the world’s largest irrigation company, announced today it has been named the 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award laureate. Netafim will receive the prestigious award at a World Water Week ceremony in Stockholm on September 3.

Honoring the business sector’s contribution to sustainable water management, the award is granted by the Stockholm International Water Institute in collaboration with the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The award recognizes improved performance in production processes, new products, and management, as well as innovative approaches in water and wastewater technologies, which together help improve the world's water situation.

Winning the prestigious international award is testimony to Netafim's sustainable water management achievements and contribution to mitigating the world’s hunger problem. Netafim was founded by Kibbutz Hatzerim in 1965 in response to the water shortage in Israel, particularly in the Negev desert. Today, over 10 million hectares of farmland are irrigated with drip irrigation. Drip helps growers worldwide increase their yields while minimizing utilization of the planet’s finite resources – water, energy and arable land. “Helping the world grow more with less” reflects the Company's essence and the benefits of drip irrigation.

Netafim's global presence enables the Company to make a significant impact on water usage by growers throughout the world. The Company operates 16 manufacturing plants – in North and South America, Europe and Asia, including Israel – and serves an ever-increasing number of growers in over 100 countries. As a company primarily involved in saving water for agricultural purposes, Netafim actively participates in international organizations dedicated to implementing recommended water usage practices. The Company is part of the global effort promoting sustainable water management. In this capacity, Netafim partners with leading food and beverage corporations to ensure the deployment of efficient water usage methods throughout the value chain. In addition, Netafim cooperates with international societal organizations, governments and academic institutions, participates in global forums aimed at improving water usage efficiency in agriculture, and is a member of the UN CEO Water Mandate.

An independent panel of judges comprised of professors and scientists reviewed nominees for the Stockholm award. The panel examined several areas, and confirmed Netafim's leadership position compared to the other nominees. The panel found that Netafim's products are not only innovative, but also efficient. The panel also determined that Netafim’s products are effective under varying weather conditions throughout the world, declaring that the deployment of Netafim’s drippers greatly contributes to the water environment on a local, regional and global level. In addition, Netafim's activities encourage other companies to improve performance, while the Company is actively involved in social and environmental responsibility.

“Globally, 70 percent of our finite freshwater is used for irrigation, and with rapidly expanding demand for agricultural products, there is a dire need to improve water productivity,” said the Stockholm Industry Water Award Committee in its citation. “Netafim’s remarkable achievements, helping farmers across the world to ‘grow more with less,’ are directly contributing to a more water- and food-secure world.”

"We are truly honored to receive the 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award,” said Igal Aisenberg, Netafim President & CEO., “As the global pioneer and leader in drip irrigation, we have always focused on saving water. With water and land scarcity topping the list of today's major global challenges, we're leveraging our expertise and experience in drip technology to help combat food price inflation, ensure food security, and achieve water sustainability. This prestigious award is testimony to our efforts, and inspires our work to continue to help reduce water usage and make the world a better, more sustainable place."

"As a veteran of Netafim and as an Israeli, I’m proud of our receiving this award,” said Naty Barak, Netafim Chief Sustainability Officer. “Drip irrigation, which originated in Israel’s Negev and spread to the entire world, provides a solution for the world’s most difficult challenges. Owners of large sugarcane plantations in South America, corn growers in the US, and poverty-stricken smallholders in Kenya, Brazil and India use our drip irrigation technology to achieve greater yields while saving water. Along with our feeling of pride for receiving the award, we recognize that there’s a long road ahead of us, and we’re determined to continue leading the way."

Since its establishment by the Stockholm Water Foundation in 2000, the Stockholm Industry Water Award has been awarded annually to companies whose business activities contribute to the world’s water situation. Netafim joins a respectable list of previous award winners including PepsiCo, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, public authorities, and other large private- and public-sector bodies.

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