International

New scorecards evaluate company pesticide use

November 18, 2021
bee on purple flower

 

Bees pollinate the crops that produce 90% of the world’s food. Yet large amounts of agricultural pesticides are causing a severe decline in pollinator populations and negatively impacting human health. Two new company scorecards evaluate food and beverage manufacturers’ and retailers’ efforts to reduce pesticide use, protect pollinators, and implement more regenerative practices.

  • Friends of the Earth’s 2021 Bee-Friendly Retailer Scorecard ranks the top 25 U.S. grocery stores on protecting pollinators, noting that 10 companies have improved, with leaders Giant Eagle and Walmart adopting policies with time-bound commitments. Additionally, 10 retailers have created pollinator health or protection policies, and five companies now track pesticide use. 
  • As You Sow’s Pesticides in the Pantry: Transparency & Risk in Food Supply Chains evaluates 17 food and beverage manufacturers’ efforts to reduce pesticide risk and improve agricultural resiliency. Their 2021 benchmark found 12 companies are promoting regenerative agriculture practices and eight now collect pesticide use data. General Mills, the highest ranked, leads in transparency and risk reduction.

Both scorecards recommend that companies publicly commit to reducing pesticide use in agricultural supply chains; disclose their strategies with measurable targets and metrics; and invest in agricultural methods that limit or eliminate pesticide use and improve the land’s health and resiliency. 

Mercy Investment Services will use these reports in engagements with companies including Costco, Dollar General and Dollar Tree, General Mills, Kellogg, Kroger, PepsiCo, Target, and Walmart on their role in decreasing pesticide use and the health and environmental impacts.