Southeastern Grocers partner Sunkist Growers Inc. has implemented innovative practices that prioritize pollinator health and contribute to the preservation of their habitats.
For National Pollinator Week (June 19-25), Southeastern Grocers Inc. is reaffirming its Pollinator Health Policy and spotlighting its collaborations with supplier partners such as Valencia, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers Inc.
About 35% of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators for reproduction, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To protect essential pollinators like honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats and help ensure future food security, Southeastern Grocers works with suppliers to further pollinator-friendly practices. The grocer’s pledge includes avoiding the use of detrimental pesticides, sourcing fresh produce and floral from suppliers with third-party verified integrated pest management practices, urging suppliers to procure pollinator-friendly certifications, and increasing the amount of USDA Organic produce sold in its stores.
“Our commitment to advancing pollinator-friendly practices is deeply ingrained in our vision for a better future,” noted Steve Williams, Southeastern Grocers' VP of produce and floral. “As a grocer, ensuring our communities have access to food is our top priority; this also means preserving the world’s food supply for future generations. By partnering with our valued supplier partners, we can leverage our collective strengths to drive real change and create stronger communities. Together, we will continue to develop initiatives that promote sustainable products and contribute to a more viable world for future generations.”
Southeastern Grocer partner Sunkist has implemented innovative practices that prioritize pollinator health and contribute to the preservation of their habitats. The agricultural cooperative’s growers plant hedgerows to provide habitats for pollinators, and if pest and disease pressures threaten the life of citrus groves, Sunkist uses integrated pest management practices such as biodiversity, predator pests and natural oils that reduce the use of pesticides.
Additionally, on Earth Day and throughout the year, Southeastern Grocers supports local nonprofits dedicated to preserving the health of pollinators. Jacksonville, Fla.-based Tree Hill Nature Center plants gardens in parking lot medians, creating viable pollinator habitats, while Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Schoolyard Roots teams with elementary schools to install pollinator beds that also contribute to educational opportunities for students.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with more than 420 grocery stores, approximately 180 liquor stores and more than 230 in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The company is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.