According to a new report and scorecard that grades food retailers in the US on their policies and practices regarding pollinator protection, organic offerings and pestiside reduction, 17 of the 20 largest retailers failed for not having available a public policy to reduce or eliminate pesticide use to protect pollinators.
ALDI, Costco and Whole Foods were the three that received passing grades in the category.
“US food retailers must take responsibility for how the products they sell are contributing to the bee crisis,” saysTiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “The majority of the food sold at top U.S. food retailers is produced with pollinator-toxic pesticides. We urge all major retailers to work with their suppliers to eliminate pollinator-toxic pesticides and to expand domestic organic offerings that protect pollinators, people and the planet.”
The report, Swarming the Aisles: Rating top retailers on bee-friendly and organic food, comes amid mounting consumer pressure on food retailers to adopt more environmentally-friendly sourcing policies. A coalition led by Friends of the Earth and more than 50 farmer, beekeeper, farmworker, environmental and public interest organizations sent a letter urging the food retailers to eliminate pollinator-toxic pesticides and increase USDA certified organic food and beverages to 15 percent of overall offerings by 2025, prioritizing domestic, regional and local producers. This effort follows a campaign by Friends of the Earth and allies that convinced more than 65 garden retailers, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, to commit to eliminate bee-toxic neonicotinoid pesticides.