The experts also assessed the vulnerability of the top 15 pollinator-dependent food crops. Preliminary results suggested that these crops are vulnerable to pollinator decline, with cocoa being particularly at risk.
“Pollinator decline is a serious issue for crops where wild pollinators are important to production and can’t easily be replaced, because managed bees can’t do the job, or the need for them isn’t widely recognised,” said Dr Lynn Dicks, Research Fellow at UEA.
“Our analysis is revealing a concerning lack of knowledge about the status of agricultural pollination and its replaceability in large parts of the world, despite its clear importance to production of some highly valued ingredients.”
Francesca Brkic, International Sustainable Sourcing Manager at The Body Shop, said: “The importance of pollination for natural raw materials is increasingly a priority for us. We are analysing the importance of pollination within our business to understand how we must act. Bees are very important to us and we recognise the positive impact that comes out of sustainable trade to supply chains that depend on pollinators as well as communities who produce honey and beeswax as an integral part of their livelihoods.”
The organisations involved in the project now hope to collaborate with industry, governments, certification bodies, trade associations and pollination experts to create a leadership group of companies and standard-setting bodies committed to safeguarding pollinators.
“We call on leading companies and standard setters to work with us to create a Partnership for Pollinators to collaborate to increase supply chain resilience,” said Annelisa Grigg, Principal Business and Biodiversity Specialist, UNEP-WCMC.
“It is only by working in partnership in this way that we will be able to understand the full extent of the risks posed by pollinator decline to our vital agricultural supply chains and catalyse action to halt wild pollinator decline.”
To learn more, read the official press release.