'We do not use free groundwater' - Farsons

Farsons declares that all the water it uses to produce drinks is sourced from the Water Services Corporation and paid for at tariffs set by the public utility company in its reaction to a MaltaToday article on a draft plan proposing a pricing policy for groundwater

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc (SFC) one of the leading manufacturers of mineral water and carbonated drinks has declared that it is not using any groundwater in its manufacturing process and relies on water from the municipal supply of drinking water. 

Farsons was reacting to a MaltaToday article on a draft plan issued for public consultation by the Environment and Resources Authority and the Malta Energy and Water Agency which hints at a pricing policy for groundwater extracted from boreholes, as one of the measures to safeguard the water table. 

The MaltaToday article also referred to information tabled in parliament showing that the equivalent of 108 million two-litre bottles of water were extracted for free from the ground and sold as water or carbonated soft drinks by beverage producers between 2016 and 2021. 

A spokesperson for the company clarified that all the water used in all Farsons finished products is purchased from the Water Services Corporation.

“Our sourced water is certainly not free, and SFC has continued to invest in advanced water treatment plant and equipment”.

Moreover, although the company is no longer making any use of its longstanding boreholes registered in the company’s name, these are duly metered in compliance with local legal requirements.

While 97% of the water used in the production processes is derived from the potable municipal water supply, the remaining 3% is derived from recycled water and water sourced from the company’s water capture and storage capabilities. Recycled water is mostly used as washing water used in the maintenance of equipment.”

Water derived from the drinking water supply which is used in Farsons also goes through an extensive filtering, purification and treatment regime so as to meet the strict product water specifications necessary to meet the Group’s premium quality standards. 

The company spokesperson underlined the importance given to water management in the company’s operations. 

“We have built an operations culture around a strong awareness that water is not only our main raw material for the production of our beverages but also a scarce resource, especially within the specific context of the Maltese Islands”.

“Our culture of corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability ensures that water management is a shared responsibility across members of the entire Group”.