Volvic is to become the first major water brand in the UK to launch an ethical initiative that will provide water for people in developing countries, The Grocer has learnt.
Danone Waters is believed to be looking at forging links with children's charity Unicef in the UK so that profits from sales of its water can be used to build wells in drought-hit countries. The campaign is expected to begin in February next year.
Volvic has had a partnership with Unicef in Germany since 2005 through its 'one litre for 10 litres' on-pack campaign whereby, for every litre of water sold, the company supplies 10 litres of fresh water to the Amhara district of Ethiopia. Over a decade the project aims to build 55 wells and provide more than 1.54 billion gallons of water in the area. It is unclear whether the initiative in the UK will be along similar lines.
There are already a number of small non-profit water brands in the UK that donate money to build wells in countries such as South Africa, Malawi, India and Zambia, but Volvic will be the first major brand to pledge money.
It will compete with water brands One: which was established in 2005 and donates 100% of its net profits to fund water playpumps in African villages; Frank, which donates all its net profits to sustainable clean-water projects in Andhra Pradesh in India; and Belu, which also donates all its profits to clean water projects.
Danone Waters would not confirm any details, but said it was looking at further ways to support water projects. "Danone Waters has run a successful corporate social responsibility activity on its Volvic brand in Germany," said category strategy manager Steve Flanagan.
"True to the company's ethos of sharing and learning from best practices of our partners in other countries, we are currently reviewing these initiatives to see if a similar activity would be relevant to the UK."
The company would not simply take a "copy and paste" approach, he insisted. Any activity would be tailored to suit the UK market.