Jacksonsville, Florida-based Southeastern Grocers Inc. is advocating for the health of pollinators during National Pollinator Week, June 19-25.
It also is promoting the importance of these small yet vital populations by reaffirming its Pollinator Health Policy and highlighting collaborative, like-minded supplier partners, including Sunkist.
About 35 percent of the world’s food crops rely on animal pollinators for reproduction, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To protect the world’s essential pollinators – honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats – and help ensure food security for future generations, SEG collaborates with supplier partners to advance pollinator-friendly practices.
The grocer’s pledge includes avoiding the use of detrimental pesticides, sourcing fresh produce and floral from suppliers with third-party verified integrated pest management practices, encouraging supplier partners to get pollinator-friendly certifications, facilitating consumer education and increasing the amount of USDA Organic produce offered in stores.
“Our commitment to advancing pollinator-friendly practices is deeply ingrained in our vision for a better future. As a grocer, ensuring our communities have access to food is our top priority; this also means preserving the world’s food supply for future generations,” Steve Williams, VP of produce and floral for Southeastern Grocers said in a statement.
“By partnering with our valued supplier partners, we can leverage our collective strengths to drive real change and create stronger communities. Together, we will continue to develop initiatives that promote sustainable products and contribute to a more viable world for future generations.”
In recognition of National Pollinator Week, SEG is highlighting the work of Sunkist Growers Inc. With a commitment to pollinator conservation, Sunkist has implemented innovative practices that prioritize pollinator health and contribute to the preservation of their habitats.
Sunkist Growers Inc. is an agricultural cooperative owned by and operated for the family of farmers who make up its membership. Sunkist reflects the values of its more than 130-year history, with traditional growing practices, stewardship of natural resources and dedication to innovation. Sunkist offers 40 varieties of fresh citrus, and its growers – large and small – work to offer quality fruit.
To preserve pollinator populations, Sunkist growers plant hedgerows to provide habitats for pollinators. If pest and disease pressures threaten the citrus groves, Sunkist uses integrated pest management practices, including biodiversity, predator pests and natural oils that reduce the use of pesticides.
Throughout the year, SEG supports local nonprofits dedicated to preserving the health of pollinators. As part of the grocer’s Earth Day initiatives, SEG made donations to Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville and Schoolyard Roots in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Tree Hill Nature Center plants gardens in parking lot medians, creating vibrant pollinator habitats, while Schoolyard Roots partners with elementary schools to install pollinator beds that contribute to educational opportunities.
Southeastern Grocers Inc. is the parent company and home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.