Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Woolies strips shelves to illustrate significance of bees

Woolworths has stripped the shelves of its Neutral Bay store in Sydney of fruit, vegetables, and long-life products that rely on pollination. This, says the retailer, illustrates the “significant role” bees and insects play in Australia’s food supply.

The removal of the products from shelves coincides with the recent return of Woolworths’ Discovery Garden collection, which helps customers grow their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers. This year’s collection has an added emphasis on bees (21 of the 24 seedlings can attract bees and encourage pollination in local gardens and ecosystems).

“Vast amounts of Australia’s floral resources have recently been decimated by drought, bushfires, and floods,” says Woolworths.

“Last year’s bushfires resulted in 15.6 million hectares of burnt forests, which provided nectar and pollen required for healthy bees.

“Without these resources, popular fruit and vegetables like avocado, apples, cucumbers, pumpkins, rockmelons, watermelons, blueberries, zucchini, macadamias, kiwi fruit would become scarce.

“Similarly, pantry staples like coffee beans, muesli, cereal, almonds, fruit juices, fruit-based jams, canola oil, and sunflower seeds all rely on or include ingredients that require pollination.

“Sixty-five per cent of Australian horticultural and agricultural crops require honeybees in order to pollinate, amounting to more than $14 billion contributed to the economy each year. Without bees, these products could cease to appear in supermarket shelves and customers’ plates.”

Woolworths Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hicks says, that as the ‘fresh food people’, the retailer is passionate about providing millions of Australians access to the fresh food they love most.

“What many people don’t realise is how much of our food supply relies directly on pollinating bees,” he says.

“Our goal here is to start a conversation in Australian homes about what a supermarket without bees would look like and how their impact goes far beyond just fruit and vegetables. However, if we take small actions to support bees and pollination today, we can create a better tomorrow and prevent this from becoming a reality.”

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