October 1, 2023


Free For All Food

Bee Improved Certification Program is Buzzing on U.S. Farms, Regional Grocers

Posted by Jocelyn Benjamin, USDA Community Affairs Professional in


Dec 15, 2020

Bee Better Certified products
Bee Superior Certified solutions. Photograph credit: Emily Balius

Bees are a lifeline for farms creating the world’s fruits, veggies, nuts and other nutrient-abundant foodstuff. Bees pollinate billions of dollars’ really worth of crops and play an critical part in our food stuff supply. Pollinators are responsible for just one in every single a few bites of meals we try to eat and lead far more than $15 billion to our nation’s crop values each individual 12 months.

But these days, we do not see as a lot of bees. That is for the reason that they are dying at an escalating fee, making the long run of our food security unsure. Their plight is barely a key, and increasingly anxious citizens are responding with significant options.

Collaborations concerning farmers and USDA’s Normal Assets Conservation Provider (NRCS) to develop much better landscapes for bees and other pollinators have been likely on for many a long time. The lately launched Bee Far better Certification system funded by means of the NRCS Conservation Innovations Grant software has received desire from major names in retail.

The Bee Much better Certification software certifies the use of pollinator-welcoming conservation methods on farms. Right after the farmer is Bee Greater licensed, they can use the Bee Better seal on their merchandise packaging, offering people the selection to support farms that are supporting bees.

Ice cream with the Bee Better Seal
Ice cream with the Bee Far better Seal. Photo credit: Emily Balius

So much, the Bee Better benchmarks have been adopted on nearly 20,000 acres of land, and goods with the Bee Better label are remaining utilised by important stores such as Haagen-Dazs. The ice cream business dedicated to adopting Bee Improved specifications for their total almond supply, introducing just about a 50 % dozen Bee Better Licensed ice product flavors to their menu.

Lots of of the West Coast’s blueberry and cherry packer giants have also joined the ranks, such as CalGiant, Rainier Fruit and Homegrown Natural and organic, and are internet marketing Bee Improved fruit in nationwide grocery chains and club merchants.

Other farms are signing up for Bee Superior, together with Villicus Farms, a 10,000-acre natural grain procedure in northern Montana and lots of wine grape vineyards in Washington, Oregon and California. Outside of the U.S., South American farms and deliver businesses giving the domestic current market with refreshing fruit for the duration of the wintertime, have also expressed fascination in the Bee Much better expectations.

Progress of the Bee Far better Certification Application

Bee Greater Licensed was made and launched in 2017 as a pilot software on 13 farms by the Xerces Culture for Invertebrate Conservation and the nonprofit organic meals and farming advocate Oregon Tilth. The program focuses on integrating flower-wealthy habitat on farms to supply food items and nesting web pages for native bees, honeybees and other pollinators, though decreasing pesticide use.

The partnership introduced with each other a team of meals market associates, farmers, certification industry experts and conservationists utilizing the product of other sustainable food items certification systems.

The certification is based mostly on a set of science-dependent standards for pollinator conservation on farms. These include specific benchmarks for how substantially wild pollinator habitat a farm should have to sustain, methods and tactics to cut down pesticide impacts on bees and assistance for cutting down pathogen transmission from managed bees to wild bees.

The Xerces staff manages the Bee Improved Certification standards and provides complex assistance to farmers to assist them get certified. Oregon Tilth performs the certification, such as examining programs and conducting farm inspections.

The Bee Far better Certification system now serves as a model for acquiring other pollinator certification plans and has spawned a new partnership involving the Xerces crew and solar energy producers, wind farms, powerline transmission businesses, and other investors fascinated in discovering Bee Greater Qualified vitality growth.

The Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) application, performs with associates and agricultural producers to speed up technology transfer and the adoption of promising improvements to handle some of the nation’s most urgent pure resource issues.

For much more info about the CIG method, visit the CIG web-site.

Jocelyn Benjamin is a general public affairs specialist with USDA in Washington, D.C.

A bee flying
A bee traveling.

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