More Retailers Are Requiring Produce To Be Certified As Pollinator-Friendly

June 13, 2024 | Source: Xerces Society | by Cameron Newell and Eric Mader

In a big win for conservation, Kroger, one of the top 5 food retailers in the USA, will now require all fresh produce suppliers to use more pollinator-friendly practices by 2030! With similar recent commitments by Walmart and Giant Eagle, more and more major companies are making an effort to protect pollinators.

Under the new rules, food suppliers must implement practices designed to reduce pesticide use, called integrated pest management (IPM). To ensure that IPM practices are being used correctly, suppliers also need to achieve one of the biodiversity-focused certifications picked by Kroger, including Xerces’ Bee Better Certified!

IPM and biodiversity certifications help create a better agriculture system

Integrated pest management practices are an economically viable and sustainable approach to pest control. By minimizing reliance on pesticides and preserving habitat, IPM provides a huge benefit to wildlife, creating resilient populations of pollinators and beneficial insects (many of which hunt pest species). Reduced pesticide use is also safer and healthier for farm workers as well.

IPM and other biodiversity-friendly practices are increasingly popular with both consumers and, in turn, food sellers. Third-party verified certification programs are essential to making sure people can trust a product’s claims of being healthier for wildlife. Programs use scientifically-backed and standardized methods to assess a grower’s IPM practices, carbon accounting, and the biodiversity found on the farm. Because inspectors for these certification programs are independent from the grower, retailers, and the program itself, they provide a more reliable assessment.