Press comment: Waitrose removes three neonicotinoids from supply chain
12 April 2013
Following the announcement that Waitrose is restricting the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides from its supply chain of fruit, vegetables and flowers, Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association said;
“We strongly support this move from Waitrose. Europe's leading scientific experts have recommended suspending the use of three neonicotinoids damaging bees, the European Commission has agreed and the all-party environment committee of the House of Commons has unanimously backed a ban.
Now Waitrose is taking bold action to get these pesticides out of its supply chain. Waitrose has also said that it supports 'the EU's consideration of a ban on the sale and use of three key neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam), on crops attractive to bees while further research is undertaken'.
Surely the combination of scientific expertise, political consensus and action by responsible business will be enough to persuade Owen Paterson to stop Defra scoring another own goal, and instead act to protect our vital pollinators.”
Under a ‘Seven Point Plan for Pollinators’, farmers supplying Waitrose will stop using three systemic formulations of neonicotinoids - imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam - on crops attractive to bees and other pollinators. The plan includes the Duchy Original Future Farming programme delivered by the Soil Association to develop and share knowledge from organic and ecological farming to allow a resilient, healthy future for people.
The restriction on use will remain in place until scientists can demonstrate conclusively whether or not the formulations are adversely affecting populations of pollinator insects.
The restriction will also be rolled out progressively to commodity crops such as oil seed rape on the Waitrose Farm at Leckford in Hampshire and as soon as practicable to other areas of the arable sector that supply Waitrose.