Southeastern Grocers Unveils New Initiatives Aimed at Saving Pollinator Populations

The grocery parent company is changing the way it works with suppliers and sources products in an effort to protect the habitats of honey bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Southeastern Grocers pollinators

Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie, has announced new sustainability initiatives that aim to protect the health of the world’s essential pollinator populations.

The move from Southeastern Grocers to protect honey bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators is multi-faceted. The retailer will work with and support supplier partners that avoid the use of particularly detrimental pesticides like neonicotinoids, glyphosate and organophosphates, source fresh produce and floral from suppliers with third-party verified integrated pest management (IPM) practices, encourage supplier partners to obtain pollinator-friendly certifications which facilitate consumer education, and work to increase the amount of USDA Organic produce offered in stores.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture data, 35% of the world’s food crops rely on animal pollinators for reproduction. Pesticides damage the habitat for these animals and insects.

“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 for Southeastern Grocers. 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.”

Southeastern Grocers’ other sustainability initiatives were highlighted in the May/June issue of Store Brands Magazine.

“With the goal to pursue purposeful change, SEG will continue to develop commitments to further support opportunities that advance pollinator-friendly practices in the Southeast and beyond,” said the company. “Together, with the help of its valued supplier partners, SEG will steadfastly work toward creating stronger communities, sustainable products and a more viable world for all.”