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Walmart Commits to Helping Save Pollinators By Mandating Change For Supply Chains

Without pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, and beetles, some of our favorite foods would not exist, and Walmart has announced a set of plans in the US to persuade its grocery supply chain to adopt principles that protect them.

Dmitry Grigoriev

Walmart’s new commitments, announced this week, serve as the largest pollinator health effort by a US grocery retailer to date, according to Walmart US chief of produce sourcing, Martin Mundo. The goal is to reduce various pollinator threats by promoting integrated pest management (IPM) practices and enhancing and expanding pollinator habitats.

Walmart US will source 100% of the fresh produce and floral items it sells in its produce department at the store from vendors that adopt third-party verified integrated pest management practices by 2025.

America’s largest retailer will also encourage fresh produce suppliers to report annually on pesticide application and biodiversity management, through Walmart’s annual sustainability surveys.

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“We are also encouraging fresh produce suppliers to phase out the use of the neonicotinoid pesticides chlorpyrifos and nitroguanidine (where applicable, unless otherwise required by law), and avoid replacing them with Tier I products. bee caution rating and evaluate and report annual progress ”, wrote Mundo in the Walmart corporate website.

To help improve and expand pollinator habitats, Walmart USA will also encourage fresh produce suppliers to protect, restore, or establish pollinator habitats on at least 3% of the land they own, operate, and / or invest. by 2025.

Walmart has already committed to protecting, managing, or restoring at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030.

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Starting this month, plants that attract pollinators will have special labels to help customers grow their own pollinator gardens. In total, more than 1.3 million annual and perennial pollinator-promoting plants will carry labels in Walmart stores this spring.

“We will also continue to avoid selling invasive plant species in our retail stores (based on recognized regional lists) … and we will work with local organizations to protect, restore, or establish pollinator habitats in major pollinator migration corridors,” added senior vice president. .

“In addition, we have partnered with solar developers to establish pollinator habitats around solar panel arrays like the one at our distribution center in Laurens, South Carolina, and through Walmart’s primary stake in community solar farms in Minnesota. We will continue to look for opportunities to establish more pollinator habitats when possible. “

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The retailer’s nonprofit arm, the Walmart Foundation, recently awarded funding to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to continue collecting citizen science data monitoring pollinators in local areas to improve conservation planning.

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