Meijer encourages its floral suppliers to adopt pollinator-friendlier practices. (Photo credit: Meijer)
To help sustain pollinators that are integral to ecosystems and the food chain, Meijer has released a new pollinator health policy addressing supplier practices and the choice of new products.
The retailer outlines its full commitment to pollinator health on its website, underscoring the role that pollinators like honeybees play in food security and addressing the fact that food retailers and their suppliers can work together to mitigate the worrisome decline of pollinator populations.
As part of its new pollinator health policy, Meijer implores its suppliers of produce, floral and live goods products to reduce their use of pollinator-toxic pesticides, especially nitroguanidine neonicotinoids and organophosphates. Instead, the retailer encourages the use of less impactful practices like Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and is taking its own steps to track supplier use of IPM strategies and to collaborate with academic institutions on educational opportunities.
Meijer also announced that it will work to expand its offering of USDA Organic fresh produce. The retailer’s goal is to grow organic sales at twice the rate of non-organic products and continually add new organic suppliers.
“This new commitment from Meijer is a step in the right direction in a moment when 40% of insect pollinators face extinction. To truly address the pollinator crisis, the food retail industry must accelerate the race to the top by creating measurable goals to reduce use of bee-toxic pesticides,” said Kendra Klein, PhD, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth. The nonprofit organization highlights Meijer’s pollinator policy in its 2021 “Bee-Friendly Retailer Scorecard,” along with efforts from other retailers including Albertsons Cos., Aldi, Costco, Kroger, Rite-Aid and Walmart.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.