Cascadian Farm, one of the leading growers, manufacturers, and distributors of a wide range of organic products, has announced its cooperation with the Xerces Society, a leader in pollination conservation, to plant 100,000 acres of pollinator habitat at its supplier farms by the end of 2020.
“We believe this is a huge and crucial step for ensuring a secure future for pollinators,” Xerces Society pollinator program co-director, Eric Lee-Mäder said in a press release.
Increasing habitat is one of the solutions to the major problem of widespread bee death recommended by the U.S. Interagency Presidential Pollinator Health Task Force.
"Cascadian Farm has chosen to focus on pollinator habitat as a solution, given our brand's connection to nature," said Stephanie Moffat, associate marketing manager for Cascadian Farm. "As a pioneer in the organic food industry, we are excited to use our scale to aid in this important cause."
Other solutions to the problem recommended by the task force include increased food diversity, reduction of viral and parasitic diseases, and reduction of exposure to pesticides.
This announcement is the most recent in the cooperation between Cascadian Farm and the Xerces Society, who have been working together for several years to protect pollinators – chiefly bees – and their habitats. On-package “bee-friendlier” donation codes and Buzz Crunch cereal -- "made possible by pollinators" -- have led to over $200,000 in contributions to the Society over the past two years.
Cascadian Farm, which has been producing organic foods and ingredients since 1972, also uses pollinator-friendly organic farming practices on its home farm in Skagit Valley, Washington.
Bee death has been a widely publicized problem in recent years. Since 2006, regions around the world have reported an annual loss of 30 percent of worker honeybee populations. An analysis published by the Xerces Society found that nearly 30 percent of North America’s bumblebee species may be at risk of extinction.
Bees are necessary for the reproduction of over 80 percent of the world’s flowering plants, including about three-quarters of crop species.
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Honey bee image via Shutterstock