Waitrose Removes Three Neonicotinoids From Supply Chain
Waitrose announced today that they are asking suppliers of fruit, vegetables and flowers to avoid the use of three formulations of neonicotinoid-based pesticides on crops destined for the supermarket.
The announcement highlighted Waitrose's immediate commitment to a 'Seven Point Plan for Pollinators' which requires farmers supplying Waitrose to stop using three systemic formulations of pesticides by the end of 2014.
EJF praises the leadership shown by Waitrose in considering the weight of scientific evidence that concludes neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and other insect pollinators, and restricting the use of these pesticides in their supply chain.
In the press release distributed today, Waitrose Director of Quality & Technical David Croft was quoted as saying:
“We have been looking at pollinator health for some time in close collaboration with our fresh produce suppliers. Given the concern about these pesticides and the need to support pollinators we believe this is a responsible precautionary step as part of a wider, holistic approach under our seven point plan. The role of pollinating insects such as bees is crucial in sustaining agriculture in the long term, as part of a thriving ecosystem that will support food security, healthy diets and the wider agricultural economy. The current debate on the decline of pollinators has raised attention about the potential adverse impact of neonicotinoid pesticides. With this in mind, and in favour of strengthening pollinator presence, Waitrose is supporting a precautionary approach with these chemicals.”
EJF is delighted that Waitrose has taken the bold step of being the first major food retailer to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in their supply chain. We are campaigning for other supermarkets and food retailers to follow their lead.
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