Using drones for efficient farming to preserve water and the environment 

3 Aug 2023
Diageo Thumbnail Drones

Farming in a way that uses resources efficiently helps us operate more sustainably. That includes minimising the water and fertiliser we use. Drones are playing their part by helping us make better-informed decisions about how our raw materials are farmed.

Agave is used to make Don Julio and Casamigos tequilas, and since 2022 we’ve used drones on our agave farms in Jalisco, Mexico. They work in pairs – one to collect data on plant growth and which plants most need help, and another to dispense the water, pesticide and fertiliser they rely on. 

Data from the drones helps planters decide how best to look after their crop. It shows that the best time to water is early morning, when the plants are most receptive, and when cooler, less windy conditions mean less water is lost. We expect this innovation to cut water use by two thirds. Also, because fewer tractors now have to cross the farmland, carbon emissions are down too. It adds up to a more resilient supply chain for tequila. 

Using technology like this helps us improve efficiency and protect resources at a time when demand for tequila is rising. It also builds our farmers’ skills and contributes to our 2030 target to reduce water use by 40% in water-stressed areas as part of our Society 2030: Spirit of Progress action plan.  

Don Julio Blanco has already become the first brand to receive Environmentally Responsible Agave (ARA) certification from the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) and the government of Jalisco. It shows we produce the tequila in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way, with no deforestation. 

Find out more how we pioneer grain-to-glass sustainability

View Annual Report 2023