Kroger commits to phasing out neonicotinoid-treated plants

BY Antoinette Alexander

Kroger has announced a new policy to protect pollinators that includes a commitment to phase out by 2020 sourcing of live garden plants in stores and garden centers that have been treated with neonicotinoids, a group of insecticides that are harmful to honey bees.

The policy is inclusive of outdoor plants known to be pollinated by honey bees or known to attract honey bees.

Today, the majority of live plant sales in Kroger’s garden center and outdoor floral selection are not treated with neonicotinoids during the growing process. Its suppliers are actively seeking alternative options for the remaining products, and remains committed to working with them to ensure proper alternatives have been identified by 2020, the grocer stated. Kroger will also track, measure and report on the progress against this commitment.

Kroger stated that it will rely on the expertise of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and other scientific experts to evaluate any possible updates to the policy.

Additionally, Kroger offers a large selection of organic produce, which is desirable for customers looking to minimize potential exposure to synthetic pesticides. Representing nearly 20 percent of America’s annual organic produce business, Kroger sales reached $1 billion in 2017. A dedicated procurement team partners with more than 300 organic produce growers and suppliers every year to bring customers a selection of organic fruits and vegetables, the grocer stated.


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