Friends of the Earth today released its latest Bee-Friendly Retailer Scorecard, ranking 25 of the largest US grocery retailers on pesticides and pollinator protection in their food and beverage supply chains. Ten retailers improved their scores since last year, with Giant Eagle, Whole Foods (NASDAQ: AMZN)and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) ranking as the top three.
Giant Eagle, in first place, is the only major U.S. food retailer to make a timebound commitment toward reducing pesticide use to protect pollinators. According to the company’s pollinator health policy, it will eliminate the use of nitroguanidine neonicotinoids — banned in the EU since 2018 but still allowed in the U.S. — from its produce supply chain by 2025.
This year, four additional companies, Walmart, Meijer, Target (NYSE: TGT) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR),established new pollinator health policies that encourage suppliers to eliminate or reduce the use of neonicotinoids, making ten in total since 2018. Research shows that U.S. agriculture has become 48 times more toxic to bees and other beneficial insects since neonicotinoids were introduced in the 1990s.