The Xerces Society, with the support of a 2016 Innovation Grant for Conservation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the US Department of Agriculture, has launched a new certification called Bee Beter, which will help consumers identify agricultural products that have been produced using pollinator-friendly practices, and aims at recognizing the importance of pollinating species in agriculture and favoring the maintenance of their habitats.
So far, the project has certified seven farms that cover more than 4,000 acres and according to forecasts, it will certify another 18,000 acres of agricultural land in the next two years.
"Through our grant, the Xerces team has not only been able to build a certification program that protects hundreds of acres of pollinator habitat, but they have also been able to test the model on a range of pilot farms distributed across the country," stated Cameron Newell, the Bee Better Certification Coordinator.
Many of the farms that work with the Xerces Society's certification are pioneers in adopting friendly practices with pollinators and will provide good examples of practices and habitat establishment that other farms will follow. As farms continue to obtain certification and begin to show the Bee Better brand, consumer awareness will grow and generate additional momentum around this certification.