Bees and other pollinators are essential to the world’s food production; in fact, 71 of the 100 crops that provide 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees. Yet pollinator populations are in great decline, due, in large part, to the pesticides used in agriculture.
To draw attention to this issue, Friends of the Earth recently released their 2020 Bee-Friendly Retailer Scorecard that ranks the top 25 U.S. grocery stores on their efforts to protect pollinators by reducing toxic pesticide use in their supply chains. Of the 25 evaluated companies, 23 received grades of D or F. The report recommends that grocery retailers set quantifiable and timebound reduction goals, track and report on pesticide reduction efforts, establish pollinator health policies and apply them to multiple product categories, disclose organic sales data, and support the expansion of organic agriculture in the United States. The Pesticide Investor Initiative, co-organized by Friends of the Earth, IEHN, and Mercy Investment Services, continues to coordinate investor efforts to engage these grocery retailers, on applying the principles of safer chemical management to pesticide reduction. Click here for an op-ed piece co-authored by Mercy Investment Services to raise awareness of the issue.