There’s been renewed buzz around the need to restrict bee-harming pesticides after an updated assessment confirmed the dangers to insects.
It has prompted a fresh battle cry to protect our pollinators, using beautiful pictures and emotive stories about the demise of the honeybee.
But pollination isn’t just about the honeybee and protecting pollinators isn’t just about safeguarding tiny creatures and their energy sources.
Pollination is a service provided by a number of different animals ranging from the midge that pollinates cocoa to the squirrels that pollinate coconut. The vast majority of pollinator species are wild, and it is the declining numbers of these wild pollinators that is causing concern because it poses a risk not only to the stability and yield of food crops around the world but to business and trade as well.
A recent report from global investment manager Schroders identified pollinator decline as "clearly an issue that is likely to affect cash flow because of the impacts on raw material prices", adding that it was a particular threat for companies reliant on agricultural supply chains. However, there has been relatively little attention from the private sector, and there are few examples of companies devoting resources to consider how supply chains might be affected by pollinator decline.
The evidence is clear: as much as three quarters of our food crops depend on pollination and wild pollinators provide half of this pollination value. The result is that pollination is worth US$577 billion globally every year.
These are big numbers, but to date, there hasn’t been a big reaction. This may be because the perceived risk is low within companies, or the case has not been made clearly enough that companies with supply chains dependent upon pollinators are at risk.
Either way, what is clear is that there is not enough information for companies about the commodities that rely on pollination and which are integral to their business.
This was the conclusion of a survey of blue chip companies carried out by experts from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), Fauna & Flora International (FFI), UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the […]