“Bee Better Certified™ Seal” That Tells Consumers Certified Ingredients Are Grown in Ways That Support Bees Gains Traction
The Bee Better Certified™ program works with farmers to develop habitat and mitigate impacts from the use of pesticides, which presents an opportunity for companies to incorporate ingredients sourced from these farms into their supply chain. Food companies like Haagen-Dazs, California Giant Berry Farms, and others now offer products that carry the Bee Better Certified Seal™, which denotes that they source from farms that provide habitat, protect bees from pesticides, and responsibly manage commercially bred bumble bees.
By way of background, in 2016, the Xerces Society and Oregon Tilth were awarded a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The CIG awarded funds and provided the opportunity to trial Bee Better certification on a diverse array of farms across the US.
The Bee Better Certified™ Seal ensures that certified ingredients were grown in ways that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Farmers who participate in the certification program commit to provide habitat and mitigate impacts from pesticides use in accordance with standards developed by the Xerces Society. Certification is verified by Oregon Tilth, a third-party certifier.
To date, the Bee Better Certified Production Standards have been adopted on nearly 20,000 acres of land, and companies like Haagen-Dazs are incorporating ingredients that are Bee Better Certified™ into their products. For example, Haagen-Dazs has recently committed to adopting Bee Better standards for their entire almond supply, adding nearly a half dozen Bee Better Certified™ ice cream flavors to their menu. Additionally, many west-coast blueberry and cherry companies and wine grape vineyards in Washington, Oregon and California have expressed interest in the Bee Better Standards.