Riverford joins Soil Association to Keep Britain Buzzing

Vegbox delivery company Riverford has joined up with the Soil Association’s Keep Britain Buzzing campaign.

Keep Britain Buzzing deals with issues close to Riverford’s heart and the company sees the campaign as a great way of raising awareness about the massive implications of declining bee populations.

Riverford runs four farms across the country including Home Farm at Newby Wiske, North Yorkshire, which delivers veg boxes to customers across the North of England.

The Keep Britain Buzzing campaign calls for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, widely used in agriculture and domestic gardens. It promotes bee-friendly organic farming and shows how people can make a difference by simply changing their shopping habits. It also aims to educate farmers ““ both organic and non-organic ““ with the best advice on how to support pollinators on their land.

Short term toxicity trials suggest that neonicotinoids reduce the bee workers’ ability to navigate back to the hive, possibly increasing susceptibility to disease. Since its introduction in the 1990s, the bee population has declined rapidly, leading to much speculation about the detrimental effect of using neonicotinoids. Bees are essential to pollination and their decline is a worrying sign that could jeopardise future food supplies.

Riverford founder Guy Watson said: “Quite apart from the huge economic benefit of bees as pollinators of food crops, there is something particularly poignant and depressing about the loss of bees.

“If we are stupid enough to risk destroying something so vital to our own food, what hope is there for us as custodians of this planet? Other governments, perhaps those with a little more distance between agrochemical companies and regulation, have already banned or restricted use of neonicotinoids.

“We hope our supporting of Keep Britain Buzzing campaign will help raise the awareness that it deserves.”

Stephen Last, Head of Membership and Supporter Services, the Soil Association, said: “The number of bees is dropping rapidly and there is strong evidence that neonicotinoids are responsible. We need to act now to save our bee population or risk changing the face of food and farming as we know it.

“The partnership with Riverford gives us the chance to reach 40,000 more households to tell them about the danger to our bees and what they can do to support the campaign.”

To find out more, visit the “Soil Association’s Keep Britain Buzzing “campaign”:www.soilassociation.org/keepbritainbuzzing