Southeastern Grocers Inc. says it’s doing its part to protect the honeybees.
The parent company of Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más, and Harveys Supermarket has announced its commitment to protect the health of the world’s essential pollinator populations — not just bees, but butterflies, birds and bats, too — to help ensure food security for future generations.
“At Southeastern Grocers, we are committed to the development of lasting change, especially when it comes to safeguarding the world’s food supply for our future generations,” said Steve Williams, vice president of produce and floral at the Jacksonville, Fla.-based chain. “As a grocer, feeding people is our first priority, and protecting the health of pollinators like honey bees is paramount to ensure we are able to help nourish our communities for years to come.”
The company’s investment in pollinator health looks like:
- Working with and supporting supplier partners who avoid the use of detrimental pesticides like neonicotinoids, glyphosate and organophosphates
- Sourcing fresh produce and floral from suppliers with third-party-verified integrated pest management (IPM) practices
- Encouraging supplier partners to obtain pollinator-friendly certifications that facilitate consumer education
- Increasing the amount of USDA Organic produce offered in its stores
Approximately 35% of the world’s food crops rely on animal pollinators for reproduction, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which says pesticide use in conventional farming methods is perpetuating the destruction of pollinator habitats.
SE Grocers operates 423 supermarkets under the Winn-Dixie, Harveys, and Fresco y Más banners in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.