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It’s estimated that we have pollinators to thank for one in every three bites of food we eat, but they are increasingly threatened by the widespread use of toxic pesticides and disappearing at unprecedented rates. Not only is this bad news for us, it’s bad news for them and the other wild animals who depend on them, and for the environment. However, food retailers have an opportunity to change things by sourcing products from pollinator- and environmentally-friendly sources. Please join us in telling the retail grocery chain Kroger that you will shop elsewhere until it commits to improved ecological farming methods and stops selling products produced with pollinator-toxic pesticides.
While there are a number of factors contributing to bee and other pollinator declines, scientists have continued to point to the dangers posed by pesticides, such as chlorpyrifos and glyphosate, which are widely used in agriculture. At low doses, these pesticides can weaken them and make them more vulnerable to diseases, pests and other stressors, while higher levels are enough to kill them directly. Death by pesticide is a grisly, painful affair, with pollinators suffering from vomiting, wing paralysis, and uncoordinated movements.
The threat posed by pesticides is so grave, and so black and white, that even Walmart, the largest food retailer in the world, has implemented a major new policy with the aim of protecting pollinators. Walmart has announced that moving forwards, it will be sourcing “100%” of the fresh produce and flowers it sells from suppliers that adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) — an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to “pest” management that strives for the least possible hazard to animals and the environment — as verified by a third party. Moreover, it has committed to encouraging its suppliers to establish pollinator habitats on at least 3% of the land they own, and to work with local organizations to establish pollinator habitats in major pollinator migration corridors. Lastly, it is encouraging its suppliers to label pollinator-friendly plants with special tags to help their customers grow pollinator-promoting gardens. To date, this is the farthest-reaching commitment made by any U.S. food retailer to protect pollinators.
As the world’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger is a powerhouse of a store, with the ability rivalling Walmart to change things for the better for bees and other pollinators. While Kroger updated its pollinator policy in 2019, it doesn’t go nearly far enough, nor does it include any commitments to eliminate pesticides or help suppliers expand ecological farming methods that protect pollinators. Walmart has shown the way forward. It is time for Kroger to follow suit.
Join us in telling Kroger you’ll be shopping elsewhere until it commits publicly to a clear, time-bound policy that defends pollinators, by calling, posting on social media, and submitting our letter!
1. Please call Kroger to politely let the store know that Walmart shares your concern over pollinators, and that you’ll be shopping there until you hear that Kroger has also made a public commitment to improved ecological farming methods and to stop selling products produced with pollinator-toxic pesticides.
Call Kroger Customer Service
Press 8, then press 3
Some talking points you can mention:
- Bees and other pollinators are the foundation of our food system. 75% of all staple crops, and 80% of all flowering plants, require the help of pollinators.
- Pollinators are currently dying at unprecedented rates, and their very survival is threatened.
- Death by pesticide is a grisly affair, with pollinators suffering from vomiting, wing paralysis, and uncoordinated movement.
- Walmart, the largest food retailer in the world, has implemented a major new policy with the aim of protecting pollinators.
- You will be shopping at Walmart until Kroger commits publicly to a policy that defends pollinators.
2. Comment on Kroger’s social media accounts.
On Kroger’s Facebook page, please let the store know how impressed you are that Walmart cares so much about pollinators, and that you will be shopping there until Kroger commits publicly to protecting pollinators.
On Twitter, please send the following message to Kroger:
@Kroger #Walmart cares about #pollinators. Why not #Kroger? I will be shopping at Walmart until Kroger stops selling products produced with pollinator-toxic #pesticides. #SaveTheBees #InsectsAreAnimals #EcoFriendly #Extinction
3. Please fill out the form on this page (use link at top) to send our letter to Kroger telling the company that you care about pollinators, and won’t be shopping there again until it announces a new pollinator-friendly policy.