New ice cream flavors expand the range of products with Bee Better Certification.
Scott Black, Executive Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
503-232-6639 | [email protected]
PORTLAND, Ore.; January 31, 2020—Häagen-Dazs just became better for bees and other pollinators, as the brand announced the release of four Bee Better Certified™ ice cream flavors. The certification, launched by the nonprofit Xerces Society, identifies farms and food ingredients that meet a rigorous standard for bee protection.
To achieve Bee Better Certification, farms must maintain at least 5 percent of their land in flower-rich habitat, and take strict, monitored steps to protect bees from pesticides, including restrictions against the use of some insecticides. Food companies sourcing ingredients from those farms can use the Bee Better Certified seal on packaging to let consumers know that their purchasing decisions benefit pollinators and the farmers working to protect them.
Häagen-Dazs worked with their largest almond supplier in California to plant over six miles of flowering native shrub hedgerows, and to plant wildflowers as part of their certification process. This achievement places Häagen-Dazs in an elite category of companies that includes California Giant Berry Farms, Klickitat Canyon Winery and others who have introduced certified products.
Bee Better Certified products have appeared nationwide in Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Costco and Walmart stores, reflecting evidence from recent studies demonstrating that consumers strongly support brands focused on conserving bees and biodiversity.
Cameron Newell, manager of the Bee Better Certified program at the Xerces Society believes the work of food companies to support pollinators and wildlife in their supply chains is showing huge growth potential.
“We’re responding to interest in Bee Better Certified from places as far away as South America, Europe and Australia, and have been talking to brands representing categories as diverse as condiments, nut-beverages, and even distilled spirits,” said Newell. “It’s heartening to see that so many responsible companies want to play a role in creating better places for bees.”
Over 30 percent of foods and beverages depend on, or benefit from, bee pollination, making the conservation of these animals vital to our agriculture and human nutrition. However, habitat loss, pesticide use and other factors have caused the highly publicized decline of many bee species, and have reduced other formerly common pollinators such as monarch butterflies to historically low populations. Some scientific assessments predict that as many as 40% of earth’s insect species could be faced with possible extinction in the next several decades unless conservation efforts such as the Bee Better Certified program are undertaken to protect them.
The Xerces Society and Bee Better Certified
Bee Better Certified™ is a program of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the world’s largest pollinator and invertebrate wildlife conservation organization. Based in Portland, Oregon, Xerces worked with Oregon Tilth, an international organic farm certifier, to launch Bee Better during National Pollinator Week 2017 as a way to recognize farms and food companies working to protect wildlife and biodiversity. The Xerces team draws together experts from the fields of habitat restoration, entomology, plant ecology, education, farming and conservation biology with a single passion: Protecting the life that sustains us.
Oregon Tilth brings over 40 years of certification experience including conducting both farm inspections and food company supply chain audits, including for the Bee Better Certified program.
Bee Better Certified is a trademark of the Xerces Society Inc.