Flagstone Foods, a private label manufacturer of snack nuts, culinary nuts, trail mixes and other nut products, has set a goal to source 100% of its almonds from bee-friendly farms by 2025.
The Minneapolis-based company said it is the first private label manufacturer to make a commitment like this in the nut industry.
The producer calls the initiative “Healthy Bees, Happy Snackers,” saying that the importance of promoting bee health is crucial to the industry and the nation’s food supply. Honey bees, in particular, are critical to pollinating over one-third of the U.S. food supply and are directly responsible for nearly 100% of almonds, they said.
On average 40% of honey bee colonies die each year due to poor nutrition, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, per the organization Project Apis m.
Flagstone Foods said in addition to sourcing sustainable, the company’s initiative will include:
- Support of Sustainable Farming Practices: Partnering with select growers and processors to advance sustainable, bee-friendly farming practices.
- Bee-Friendly Certification and Verification Programs: Using the most current certification programs to verify that its almond suppliers are following bee-friendly farming practices.
- Bee-Friendly Philanthropic Support: Making charitable contributions to Project Apis m. and its Seeds for Bees program, which provides almond growers with the seeds and skills they need to create habitat and forage for bees while also improving soil health.
"As North America's leader in private label snack nuts, few buy as many almonds as we do. We believe this distinction brings with it a responsibility to cultivate a more sustainable almond industry," says Flagstone Foods' CEO Robert Scalia. "We aim to work collaboratively with almond growers, processors and bee-friendly organizations through our Healthy Bees, Happy Snackers initiative, all focused on supporting the needs of the honey bee, which ultimately aids the almond industry as a whole."