Urban Cordial and Virtual Water

If you know about Urban Cordial, you’ll know we use surplus fruit. We support British famers that don’t always know what to do with all the excess. These gluts might be down to strict EU shape/ size regulations, a particularly high yield season, weather damage, or over-ordering by customers. Sometimes, we also just don’t know why (like the strawberries below!). Whatever the reason, it’s not good.

It is not just the crop that is being wasted, but the resources used to grow it… and a lot of the world’s natural resources go into agriculture. About two thirds of society’s negative impacts on biodiversity are down to agriculture. To be exact agriculture and horticulture account for about 25% of emissions 40% of the world’s land use and about 92% of the world’s water consumption.

That’s right, 92% of the world’s water resources is consumed in crop and livestock production by farmers and growers. That’s a lot! There are different types of water – blue and green. The science isn’t too complicated and you can read up on it here. What is important to know is that water is embedded in our food commodities, that is the water used to grow the product. This embedded water is known as virtual water. We all depend on virtual water for everything from food to t-shirts to petrol! When we waste a tonne of food, we also waste the virtual water embedded in it.

So by saving surplus fruit we are also saving the water that was consumed in growing the fruit. We want to show you just how much we are saving, and so we have estimated the water footprint of two of our cordials per 500ml bottle. Note: this footprint does not include the virtual water used in making the bottle.


Ingredients: Apples, water, British beet sugar, lemon, fennel

Visible water – 125ml                                             Virtual water – 656 litres



Ingredients: Strawberries, water, British beet sugar, sage, citric acid

Visible water – 300ml                             Virtual water – 128 litres


At The Urban Cordial Company we are proud to be playing our part in saving surplus fruit and natural resources at the same time. We make sure we do this whilst ensuring our flavours are as delicious as ever. You can play your part too in the world’s journey to reducing waste. Below are some suggestions of what you can do:

  • Buy our cordial and support other brands fighting food waste like Spare Fruit, Rubies in the Rubble and Oddbox
  • Get creative with what you can do with your leftovers. Visit love food hate waste for loads of amazing recipes.
  • Support your local farmer by going to your local farmers market


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