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New Campaign Calls on Sprout’s Farmers Markets to Drop Nestlé Arrowhead Springs Bottled Water

CONTACT: Madison Donzis | | (210) 488-6220

Nearly 100,000 People Urge Sprout’s to Live Up to Values of Sustainability, and Stop Selling Illegally Bottled Water from Drought-Stricken San Bernardino National Forest

More than 93,000 members of Courage Campaign and The Story of Stuff Project are calling on Sprout’s Farmers Markets — one of the largest national grocery stores with more than 200 location — to stop selling Nestlé’s Arrowhead Springs bottled water, as the water is illegally pumped from California’s drought-stricken San Bernardino National Forest using a permit that expired over 25 years ago.   


According to Sprout’s Farmers Market’s sustainable retailing pledge, they “partner with suppliers that align with our culture of valuing environmental systems…. We encourage our suppliers to advance responsible sourcing practices and hold them to high standards.”  Courage Campaign’s petition targets Sprout’s Farmer’s Markets CEO Amin Maredia and Sustainability Director Susan Welsh — asking them to live up to that pledge. 

“There’s nothing sustainable about helping Nestlé profit off of illegally and irresponsibly sourced public water in drought-stricken California,” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based Courage Campaign Institute. “Sprout’s Farmer’s Markets must live up to its values of sustainable retailing and stop selling Nestlé Arrowhead Springs bottled water.” 


About Nestlé’s Arrowhead Springs bottled water: 

  • In 2014 alone, an estimated 28 million gallons were piped away from the forest to be bottled and sold under Nestlé’s Arrowhead brand of bottled water. 
  • Nestlé’s bottling permit expired in 1988 but the piping system remains in active use, siphoning about 68,000 gallons of water a day out of the forest last year.
  • Reports from the end of 2015 indicated that water levels at Strawberry Creek were at record lows. 
  • In exchange for allowing Nestlé to continue siphoning water from the Creek, the Forest Service receives just $524 a year, less than the average Californian’s water bill.

Last year, the California-based Courage Campaign Institute, joined by the Story of Stuff Project and the Center for Biological Diversity in a lawsuit challenging Nestlé’s four-mile pipeline that siphons water from San Bernardino National Forest’s Strawberry Creek in U.S. District Court.  Earlier this year, more than 280,000 members of the coalition submitted comments to the US Forest Service urging them not to grant Nestlé a new permit for water bottling operations in the national forest.

In July, activists from across the US will participate in a national day of action at local Sprout’s Farmer’s Market stores demanding the company honor their sustainable retailing pledge and stop selling Nestlé bottled water.

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Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez