The retailer that decided to help save the bees
Bees and other pollinators are vital for food production, but they’re under growing threat the world over. In the UK, one of the biggest retailers has launched a nationwide effort to protect the biodiversity that supports – and is supported by – wild pollinators.
The Morrisons’ ‘Project Pollinator’ is an example of how a business within the food industry can help protect bees and other pollinators. The retailer – one of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains and also a major farming business – introduced the scheme following growing concerns about the decline in wild bees throughout the UK, echoed in the 2019 report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and its warnings of threats to global bee populations. Launched initially within its egg supply chain, farmers have been encouraged to set aside land for bee-friendly pollen and nectar-rich habitat with bee numbers increasing as a result by up to 55% year on year. The retailer has also worked with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to find bee-friendly flower mixtures and farmers have been trained to act as ‘bee walkers’ so they can monitor and check bee numbers on their farms. The goal is to continue growing the impact of the project and also influence other food retailers and producers to take more actions to protect pollinators and the biodiversity they support.